Step 2: Preparing the settings file

A settings file is essential for wflow, as it contains information on the model configuration, simulation period, input files, and parameters. The settings are provided in a TOML file. The settings file is structured in several sections, which are explained below. The filepaths that are provided in this file are relative to the location of the TOML file, or to dir_input and dir_output if they are given.

General time info

Time information is optional. When left out, each time step in the forcing NetCDF will be calculated. If you wish to calculate a subset of this time range, or a different timestep, you can specify a starttime, endtime and timestepsecs yourself. The time_units optional information is used by the writer of the model, for model output in netCDF format. The calendar option allows you to calculate in one of the different CF conventions calendars provided by the CFTime.jl package, such as "360_day". This is useful if you want to calculate climate scenarios which are sometimes provided in these alternative calendars.

calendar = "standard"                           # optional, this is default value
starttime = 2000-01-01T00:00:00                 # optional, default from forcing NetCDF
endtime = 2000-02-01T00:00:00                   # optional, default from forcing NetCDF
time_units = "days since 1900-01-01 00:00:00"   # optional, this is default value
timestepsecs = 86400                            # optional, default from forcing NetCDF
dir_input = "data/input"                        # optional, default is the path of the TOML
dir_output = "data/output"                      # optional, default is the path of the TOML

Logging

Wflow emits logging messages at various levels such as debug, info, and error. These get sent to both the terminal as well as a log file. If you want to debug an issue it can be helpful to set loglevel = "debug" in the TOML. To avoid flooding the screen, debug messages are only sent to the log file. The following settings will affect the logging:

silent = false          # optional, default is "false"
loglevel = "debug"      # optional, default is "info"
path_log = "log.txt"    # optional, default is "log.txt"
fews_run = false        # optional, default value is false

silent avoids logging to the terminal, and only writes the log file. loglevel controls which levels are filtered out, so the default setting "info" does not show any debug level messages. Note that for finer control, you can also pass an integer log level, see Julia's Logging documentation. path_log sets the desired output path for the log file. For information regarding fews_run, see Run from Delft-FEWS.

Model section

Model specific settings can be included in the model section of the TOML file.

[model]
type = "sbm"                        # one of ("sbm", "sbm_gwf, "hbv")
masswasting = false                 # include lateral snow transport in the model, default is false
snow = false                        # include snow modelling, default is false
reinit = true                       # cold (reinit = true) or warm state (reinit = false), default is true
reservoirs = false                  # include reservoir modelling, default is false
kin_wave_iteration = false          # enable kinematic wave iterations in the model, default is false
thicknesslayers = [100, 300, 800]   # specific SBM setting: for each soil layer a thickness [mm] is specified
min_streamorder = 3                 # minimum stream order to delineate subbasins, default is 4 (for multi-threading computing purposes)

State options

The state section in the TOML file provides information about the location of input and output states of the model. This section is mostly relevant if the model needs to be started with a "warm" state (i.e. based on the results of a previous simulation). The example below shows how to save the output states of the current simulation, so it can be used to initialize another model in the future. Details on the settings required to start a model with a warm state can be found in the additional model options. If it is not required to store the outstates of the current simulation, the entire state section can be removed.

[state]
path_input = "instates-moselle.nc" 
path_output = "outstates-moselle.nc"

[state.vertical]
satwaterdepth = "satwaterdepth"
snow = "snow"
tsoil = "tsoil"
ustorelayerdepth = "ustorelayerdepth"
snowwater = "snowwater"
canopystorage = "canopystorage"

[state.lateral.river]
q = "q_river"
h = "h_river"
h_av = "h_av_river"

[state.lateral.river.reservoir]
volume = "volume_reservoir"

[state.lateral.subsurface]
ssf = "ssf"

[state.lateral.land]
q = "q_land"
h = "h_land"
h_av = "h_av_land"

Input section

The input section of the TOML file contains information about the input forcing and model parameters files (netCDF format). Forcing is applied to the vertical component of the model, and needs to be mapped to the external netCDF variable name. forcing lists the internal model forcing parameters, and these are mapped to the external netCDF variables listed under the section [input.vertical]. It is possible to provide cyclic parameters to the model. In the example below this is done for the internal vertical.leaf_area_index model parameter, that is linked to the external netCDF variable "LAI" variable. If a model parameter is not mapped, a default value will be used if available.

[input]
# use "forcing-year-*.nc" if forcing files are split in time
path_forcing = "forcing-moselle.nc"    # Location of the forcing data
path_static = "staticmaps-moselle.nc"  # Location of the static data

# these are not directly part of the model
gauges = "wflow_gauges"
ldd = "wflow_ldd"
river_location = "wflow_river"
subcatchment = "wflow_subcatch"

# specify the internal IDs of the parameters which vary over time
# the external name mapping needs to be below together with the other mappings
forcing = [
"vertical.precipitation",
"vertical.temperature",
"vertical.potential_evaporation",
]

cyclic = ["vertical.leaf_area_index"]

[input.vertical]    # Map internal model variable/parameter names to names of the variables in the NetCDF files
altitude = "wflow_dem" 
c = "c" 
cf_soil = "cf_soil" 
cfmax = "Cfmax" 
e_r = "EoverR" 
infiltcappath = "InfiltCapPath" 
infiltcapsoil = "InfiltCapSoil" 
kext = "Kext" 
"kv₀" = "KsatVer" 
leaf_area_index = "LAI"             # Cyclic variable
m = "M" 
maxleakage = "MaxLeakage" 
pathfrac = "PathFrac" 
potential_evaporation = "PET"       # Forcing variable
precipitation = "P"                 # Forcing variable
rootdistpar = "rootdistpar" 
rootingdepth = "RootingDepth" 
soilminthickness = "SoilMinThickness" 
soilthickness = "SoilThickness" 
specific_leaf = "Sl" 
storage_wood = "Swood" 
temperature = "TEMP"                # Forcing variable
tt = "TT" 
tti = "TTI" 
ttm = "TTM" 
w_soil = "wflow_soil" 
water_holding_capacity = "WHC" 
waterfrac = "WaterFrac" 
"θᵣ" = "thetaR" 
"θₛ" = "thetaS"

[input.lateral.river]
length = "wflow_riverlength"
n = "N_River"
slope = "RiverSlope"
width = "wflow_riverwidth"

[input.lateral.subsurface]
ksathorfrac = "KsatHorFrac"

[input.lateral.land]
n = "N"
slope = "Slope"

Output NetCDF section

Grid data

This optional section of the TOML file contains the output netCDF file for writing gridded model output, including a mapping between internal model parameter components and external netCDF variables.

To limit the size of the resulting NetCDF file, file compression can be enabled. This causes an increase in computational time, but can significantly reduce the file size of the NetCDF file. This can be enabled by setting the compressionlevel variable to any value between 0 and 9. A setting of 0 indicates that compression is not enabled, and values between 1 and 9 indicate different levels of compression (1: least compression, smallest impact on run time, 9: highest compression level, biggest impact on run times). If file size becomes an issue, we recommend using a value of 1, as higher compression levels generally have only a limited effect on the file size.

[output]    
path = "output_moselle.nc"         # Location of the output file
compressionlevel = 1               # Amount of compression (default 0)

[output.vertical]   # Mapping of names between internal model components and external netCDF variables
satwaterdepth = "satwaterdepth"
snow = "snow"
tsoil = "tsoil"
ustorelayerdepth = "ustorelayerdepth"
snowwater = "snowwater"
canopystorage = "canopystorage"

[output.lateral.river]
q = "q_river"
h = "h_river"

[output.lateral.river.reservoir]
volume = "volume_reservoir"

[output.lateral.subsurface]
ssf = "ssf"

[output.lateral.land]
q = "q_land"
h = "h_land"

Scalar data

Besides gridded data, it is also possible to write scalar data to a NetCDF file. Below is an example that writes scalar data to the file "output_scalar_moselle.nc". For each NetCDF variable a name (external variable name) and parameter (internal model parameter) is required. A reducer can be specified to apply to the model output, see for more information the following section Output CSV section. When a map is provided to extract data for certain locations (e.g. gauges) or areas (e.g. subcatchment), the NetCDF location names are extracted from these maps. For a specific location (grid cell) a location is required. For layered model parameters and variables that have an extra dimension layer and are part of the vertical sbm concept it is possible to specify an internal layer index (see also example below). For model parameters and variables that have an extra dimension classes and are part of the vertical FLEXTopo concept it is possible to specify the class name. If multiple layers or classes are desired, this can be specified in separate [[netcdf.variable]] entries. Note that the specification of the extra dimension is not optional when Wflow is integrated with Delft-FEWS, for NetCDF scalar data an extra dimension is not allowed by the importNetcdfActivity of the Delft-FEWS General Adapter. In the section Output CSV section, similar functionality is available for CSV. For integration with Delft-FEWS, see also Run from Delft-FEWS, it is recommended to write scalar data to NetCDF format since the General Adapter of Delft-FEWS can ingest this data format directly.

[netcdf]
path = "output_scalar_moselle.nc"  # Location of the results

[[netcdf.variable]] # Extract the values of lateral.river.q using the gauges map, and assigning it with the name 'Q' as variable to the netCDF
name = "Q"
map = "gauges"
parameter = "lateral.river.q"

[[netcdf.variable]] # Using coordinates to extract the temperature
coordinate.x = 6.255
coordinate.y = 50.012
name = "vwc_layer2_bycoord"
location = "vwc_bycoord"
parameter = "vertical.vwc"
layer = 2

[[netcdf.variable]] # Using indices to extract the temperature
location = "temp_byindex"
name = "temp_index"
index.x = 100
index.y = 264
parameter = "vertical.temperature"

Output CSV section

Model output can also be written to CSV output. Below is an example that writes model output to the file "output_moselle.csv". For each CSV column a header and parameter (internal model parameter) is required. A reducer can be specified to apply to the model output, with the following available reducers:

  • maximum
  • minimum
  • mean
  • median
  • first
  • last
  • only

with only as the default. To extract data for a specific location (grid cell), the index of the vector, the coordinates coordinate.x and coordinate.y, or the x and y indices of the 2D array (index.x and index.y) can be provided. Finally a map can be provided to extract data for certain locations (e.g. gauges) or areas (e.g. subcatchment). In this case a single entry can lead to multiple columns in the CSV file, which will be of the form header_id, e.g. Q_20, for a gauge with integer ID 20. For layered model parameters and variables that have an extra dimension layer and are part of the vertical sbm concept an internal layer index (see also example below) should be specified. For model parameters and variables that have an extra dimension classes and are part of the vertical FLEXTopo concept it is possible to specify the class name. If multiple layers or classes are desired, this can be specified in separate [[csv.column]] entries.

The double brackets in [[csv.column]] is TOML syntax to indicate that it is part of a list. You may specify as many entries as you wish.

[csv]
path = "output_moselle.csv"

[[csv.column]]
header = "Q"
parameter = "lateral.river.q"
reducer = "maximum"

[[csv.column]]
header = "volume"
index = 1
parameter = "lateral.river.reservoir.volume"

[[csv.column]]
coordinate.x = 6.255
coordinate.y = 50.012
header = "temp_bycoord"
parameter = "vertical.temperature"

[[csv.column]]
coordinate.x = 6.255
coordinate.y = 50.012
header = "vwc_layer2_bycoord"
parameter = "vertical.vwc"
layer = 2

[[csv.column]]
header = "temp_byindex"
index.x = 100
index.y = 264
parameter = "vertical.temperature"

[[csv.column]]
header = "Q"
map = "gauges"
parameter = "lateral.river.q"

[[csv.column]]
header = "recharge"
map = "subcatchment"
parameter = "vertical.recharge"
reducer = "mean"

Modify parameters

It is possible to modify model parameters and forcing through the TOML file. Two options to modify input parameters are available:

  • Set an input parameter (static) to an uniform value.
  • Modify an input parameter (cyclic and static) or forcing variable through the use of a scale factor and offset.

To set for example the input parameter cfmax to an uniform value of 2.5:

[input.vertical]
water_holding_capacity = "WHC"
waterfrac = "WaterFrac"
cfmax.value = 2.5

For input parameters with an extra dimension (e.g. layer or classes) one uniform value can be provided or a list of values that should be equal to the length of the extra dimension. For example, for input parameter c, a list of values can be provided as follows:

[input.vertical]
water_holding_capacity = "WHC"
waterfrac = "WaterFrac"
c.value = [10.5, 11.25, 9.5, 7.0]

To change for example the forcing variable precipitation with a scale factor of 1.5 and an offset of 0.5:

[input.vertical.precipitation]
netcdf.variable.name = "P"
scale = 1.5
offset = 0.5

For input parameters with an extra dimension it is also possible to modify multiple indices at once with different scale and offset values. In the example below the external NetCDF variable c is modified at layer index 1 and 2, with a scale factor of 2.0 and 1.5 respectively, and an offset of 0.0 for both indices:

[input.vertical.c]
netcdf.variable.name = "c"
scale = [2.0, 1.5]
offset = [0.0, 0.0]
layer = [1, 2]

Fixed forcing values

It is possible to set fixed values for forcing parameters through the TOML file. To set for example temperature to a fixed value of 10 $\degree$C, the complete forcing list is required:

forcing = [
  "vertical.precipitation",
  "vertical.temperature",
  "vertical.potential_evaporation",
]

[input.vertical.temperature]
value = 10

Note that the mapping to the external netCDF variable listed under the section [input.vertical] needs to be removed or commented out:

[input.vertical]
potential_evaporation = "PET" # forcing
# temperature = "TEMP" # forcing
precipitation = "P" # forcing