Automated calibration of complex deterministic water quality models with a large number of biogeochemical parameters can reduce time-consuming iterative simulations involving empirical judgements of model fit. We undertook auto-calibration of the one-dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological lake model DYRESM-CAEDYM, using a Monte Carlo Sampling (MCS) method, in order to test the applicability of this procedure for shallow, polymictic Lake Rotorua (New Zealand). The calibration procedure involved independently minimising the root-mean-square-error (RMSE), maximizing the Pearson correlation coefficient (<i>r</i>) and Nash-Sutcliffe efficient coefficient (Nr) for comparisons of model state variables against measured data. An assigned number of parameter permutations was used for 10,000 simulation iterations. The <q>optimal</q> temperature calibration produced a RMSE of 0.54&thinsp;°C, Nr-value of 0.99 and <i>r</i>-value of 0.98 through the whole water column based on comparisons with 540 observed water temperatures collected between 13 July 2007&ndash;13 January 2009. The modeled bottom dissolved oxygen concentration (20.5&thinsp;m below surface) was compared with 467 available observations. The calculated RMSE of the simulations compared with the measurements was 1.78&thinsp;mg&thinsp;L<sup>&minus;1</sup>, the Nr-value was 0.75 and the <i>r</i>-value was 0.87. The autocalibrated model was further tested for an independent data set by simulating bottom-water hypoxia events for the period 15 January 2009 to 8 June 2011 (875 days). This verification produced an accurate simulation of five hypoxic events corresponding to DO < 2&thinsp;mg&thinsp;L<sup>&minus;1</sup> during summer of 2009&ndash;2011. The RMSE was 2.07&thinsp;mg&thinsp;L<sup>&minus;1</sup>, Nr-value 0.62 and <i>r</i>-value of 0.81, based on the available data set of 738 days. The auto-calibration software of DYRESM-CAEDYM developed here is substantially less time-consuming and more efficient in parameter optimisation than traditional manual calibration which has been the standard tool practiced for similar complex water quality models.
Luo, L., Hamilton, D., Lan, J., McBride, C., & Trolle, D. (2018). Autocalibration of a one-dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological model (DYRESM 4.0-CAEDYM 3.1) using a Monte Carlo approach: Simulations of hypoxic events in a polymictic lake. Geoscientific Model Development, 11(3), 903–913. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-11-903-2018