Thapa, S; Zhao, ZB; Li, B; Lu, L; Fu, DL; Shi, XF; Tang, B; Qi, H (2020). Snowmelt-Driven Streamflow Prediction Using Machine Learning Techniques (LSTM, NARX, GPR, and SVR). WATER, 12(6), 1734.

Although machine learning (ML) techniques are increasingly popular in water resource studies, they are not extensively utilized in modeling snowmelt. In this study, we developed a model based on a deep learning long short-term memory (LSTM) for snowmelt-driven discharge modeling in a Himalayan basin. For comparison, we developed the nonlinear autoregressive exogenous model (NARX), Gaussian process regression (GPR), and support vector regression (SVR) models. The snow area derived from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow images along with remotely sensed meteorological products were utilized as inputs to the models. The Gamma test was conducted to determine the appropriate input combination for the models. The shallow LSTM model with a hidden layer achieved superior results than the deeper LSTM models with multiple hidden layers. Out of seven optimizers tested, Adamax proved to be the aptest optimizer for this study. The evaluation of the ML models was done by the coefficient of determination (R2), mean absolute error (MAE), modified Kling-Gupta efficiency (KGE'), Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE), and root-mean-squared error (RMSE). The LSTM model (KGE' = 0.99) enriched with snow cover input achieved the best results followed by NARX (KGE' = 0.974), GPR (KGE' = 0.95), and SVR (KGE' = 0.949), respectively. The outcome of this study proves the applicability of the ML models, especially the LSTM model, in predicting snowmelt driven discharge in the data-scant mountainous watersheds.