airGR: Suite of GR Hydrological Models for Precipitation-Runoff Modelling


This package brings into R the hydrological modelling tools developed at INRAE-Antony (Catchment Hydrology research group of the HYCAR Research Unit, France), including rainfall-runoff models (GR4H, GR5H, GR4J, GR5J, GR6J, GR2M, GR1A) that can be applied either on a lumped or semi-distributed way. A snow accumulation and melt model (CemaNeige) and the associated functions for the calibration and evaluation of models are also included. Each model core is coded in Fortran to ensure low computational time. The other package functions (i.e. mainly the calibration algorithm and the computation of the efficiency criteria) are coded in R.



Functions and objects

The airGR package has been designed to fulfil two major requirements: facilitate the use by non-expert users and allow flexibility regarding the addition of external criteria, models or calibration algorithms. The names of the functions and their arguments were chosen to this end.

The package is mostly based on three families of functions:

In order to limit the risk of mis-use and increase the flexibility of these main functions, we imposed the structure of their arguments and defined their class. Most users will not need to worry about these imposed structures since functions are provided to prepare these arguments for them: CreateInputsModel, CreateRunOptions, CreateInputsCrit, CreateCalibOptions. However, advanced users wishing to supplement the package with their own models will need to comply with these imposed structures and refer to the package source codes to get all the specification requirements.


Seven hydrological models and one snow melt and accumulation model are implemented in airGR. The hydrological models can be applied either on a lumped way or on a semi-distributed way (on sub-catchments). The snow model can either be used alone or with the daily or hourly hydrological models. Naturally each hydrological model can also be used alone. These models can be called within airGR using the following functions:

How to get started

To learn how to use the functions from the airGR package, it is recommended to follow the five steps described below:

  1. refer to the help for RunModel_GR4J then run the provided example to assess how to make a simulation;
  2. refer to the help for CreateInputsModel to understand how the inputs of a model are prepared/organised;
  3. refer to the help for CreateRunOptions to understand how the run options of a model are parametrised/organised;
  4. refer to the help for ErrorCrit_NSE and CreateInputsCrit to understand how the computation of an error criterion is prepared/made;
  5. refer to the help for Calibration_Michel, run the provided example and then refer to the help for CreateCalibOptions to understand how a model calibration is prepared/made.

To get started with the package, you can refer to the ‘get_started’ vignette (vignette("V01_get_started", package = "airGR")). To know how to use the models on a semi-distributed way, you can refer to the ‘sd_model’ vignette (vignette("V05_sd_model", package = "airGR")). For more information, please visit the airGR website.