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A Comparison of Methods for Streamflow Uncertainty Estimation

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A Comparison of Methods for Streamflow Uncertainty Estimation. / Kiang, Julie E.; Gazoorian, Chris; McMillan, Hilary; Coxon, Gemma; Le Coz, Jérôme; Westerberg, Ida K.; Belleville, Arnaud; Sevrez, Damien; Sikorska, Anna E.; Petersen-Øverleir, Asgeir; Reitan, Trond; Freer, Jim; Renard, Benjamin; Mansanarez, Valentin; Mason, Robert.

In: Water Resources Research, Vol. 54, No. 10, 01.10.2018, p. 7149-7176.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Kiang, JE, Gazoorian, C, McMillan, H, Coxon, G, Le Coz, J, Westerberg, IK, Belleville, A, Sevrez, D, Sikorska, AE, Petersen-Øverleir, A, Reitan, T, Freer, J, Renard, B, Mansanarez, V & Mason, R 2018, 'A Comparison of Methods for Streamflow Uncertainty Estimation', Water Resources Research, vol. 54, no. 10, pp. 7149-7176. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR022708

APA

Kiang, J. E., Gazoorian, C., McMillan, H., Coxon, G., Le Coz, J., Westerberg, I. K., ... Mason, R. (2018). A Comparison of Methods for Streamflow Uncertainty Estimation. Water Resources Research, 54(10), 7149-7176. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR022708

Vancouver

Kiang JE, Gazoorian C, McMillan H, Coxon G, Le Coz J, Westerberg IK et al. A Comparison of Methods for Streamflow Uncertainty Estimation. Water Resources Research. 2018 Oct 1;54(10):7149-7176. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR022708

Author

Kiang, Julie E. ; Gazoorian, Chris ; McMillan, Hilary ; Coxon, Gemma ; Le Coz, Jérôme ; Westerberg, Ida K. ; Belleville, Arnaud ; Sevrez, Damien ; Sikorska, Anna E. ; Petersen-Øverleir, Asgeir ; Reitan, Trond ; Freer, Jim ; Renard, Benjamin ; Mansanarez, Valentin ; Mason, Robert. / A Comparison of Methods for Streamflow Uncertainty Estimation. In: Water Resources Research. 2018 ; Vol. 54, No. 10. pp. 7149-7176.

Bibtex

@article{c3f8e0d53244425885fd88dfe7c74f5a,
title = "A Comparison of Methods for Streamflow Uncertainty Estimation",
abstract = "Streamflow time series are commonly derived from stage-discharge rating curves, but the uncertainty of the rating curve and resulting streamflow series are poorly understood. While different methods to quantify uncertainty in the stage-discharge relationship exist, there is limited understanding of how uncertainty estimates differ between methods due to different assumptions and methodological choices. We compared uncertainty estimates and stage-discharge rating curves from seven methods at three river locations of varying hydraulic complexity. Comparison of the estimated uncertainties revealed a wide range of estimates, particularly for high and low flows. At the simplest site on the Is{\`e}re River (France), full width 95{\%} uncertainties for the different methods ranged from 3 to 17{\%} for median flows. In contrast, uncertainties were much higher and ranged from 41 to 200{\%} for high flows in an extrapolated section of the rating curve at the Mahurangi River (New Zealand) and 28 to 101{\%} for low flows at the Taf River (United Kingdom), where the hydraulic control is unstable at low flows. Differences between methods result from differences in the sources of uncertainty considered, differences in the handling of the time-varying nature of rating curves, differences in the extent of hydraulic knowledge assumed, and differences in assumptions when extrapolating rating curves above or below the observed gaugings. Ultimately, the selection of an uncertainty method requires a match between user requirements and the assumptions made by the uncertainty method. Given the significant differences in uncertainty estimates between methods, we suggest that a clear statement of uncertainty assumptions be presented alongside streamflow uncertainty estimates.",
keywords = "hydrometry, rating curve, stream gauge, uncertainty",
author = "Kiang, {Julie E.} and Chris Gazoorian and Hilary McMillan and Gemma Coxon and {Le Coz}, J{\'e}r{\^o}me and Westerberg, {Ida K.} and Arnaud Belleville and Damien Sevrez and Sikorska, {Anna E.} and Asgeir Petersen-{\O}verleir and Trond Reitan and Jim Freer and Benjamin Renard and Valentin Mansanarez and Robert Mason",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1029/2018WR022708",
language = "English",
volume = "54",
pages = "7149--7176",
journal = "Water Resources Research",
issn = "0043-1397",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "10",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - A Comparison of Methods for Streamflow Uncertainty Estimation

AU - Kiang, Julie E.

AU - Gazoorian, Chris

AU - McMillan, Hilary

AU - Coxon, Gemma

AU - Le Coz, Jérôme

AU - Westerberg, Ida K.

AU - Belleville, Arnaud

AU - Sevrez, Damien

AU - Sikorska, Anna E.

AU - Petersen-Øverleir, Asgeir

AU - Reitan, Trond

AU - Freer, Jim

AU - Renard, Benjamin

AU - Mansanarez, Valentin

AU - Mason, Robert

PY - 2018/10/1

Y1 - 2018/10/1

N2 - Streamflow time series are commonly derived from stage-discharge rating curves, but the uncertainty of the rating curve and resulting streamflow series are poorly understood. While different methods to quantify uncertainty in the stage-discharge relationship exist, there is limited understanding of how uncertainty estimates differ between methods due to different assumptions and methodological choices. We compared uncertainty estimates and stage-discharge rating curves from seven methods at three river locations of varying hydraulic complexity. Comparison of the estimated uncertainties revealed a wide range of estimates, particularly for high and low flows. At the simplest site on the Isère River (France), full width 95% uncertainties for the different methods ranged from 3 to 17% for median flows. In contrast, uncertainties were much higher and ranged from 41 to 200% for high flows in an extrapolated section of the rating curve at the Mahurangi River (New Zealand) and 28 to 101% for low flows at the Taf River (United Kingdom), where the hydraulic control is unstable at low flows. Differences between methods result from differences in the sources of uncertainty considered, differences in the handling of the time-varying nature of rating curves, differences in the extent of hydraulic knowledge assumed, and differences in assumptions when extrapolating rating curves above or below the observed gaugings. Ultimately, the selection of an uncertainty method requires a match between user requirements and the assumptions made by the uncertainty method. Given the significant differences in uncertainty estimates between methods, we suggest that a clear statement of uncertainty assumptions be presented alongside streamflow uncertainty estimates.

AB - Streamflow time series are commonly derived from stage-discharge rating curves, but the uncertainty of the rating curve and resulting streamflow series are poorly understood. While different methods to quantify uncertainty in the stage-discharge relationship exist, there is limited understanding of how uncertainty estimates differ between methods due to different assumptions and methodological choices. We compared uncertainty estimates and stage-discharge rating curves from seven methods at three river locations of varying hydraulic complexity. Comparison of the estimated uncertainties revealed a wide range of estimates, particularly for high and low flows. At the simplest site on the Isère River (France), full width 95% uncertainties for the different methods ranged from 3 to 17% for median flows. In contrast, uncertainties were much higher and ranged from 41 to 200% for high flows in an extrapolated section of the rating curve at the Mahurangi River (New Zealand) and 28 to 101% for low flows at the Taf River (United Kingdom), where the hydraulic control is unstable at low flows. Differences between methods result from differences in the sources of uncertainty considered, differences in the handling of the time-varying nature of rating curves, differences in the extent of hydraulic knowledge assumed, and differences in assumptions when extrapolating rating curves above or below the observed gaugings. Ultimately, the selection of an uncertainty method requires a match between user requirements and the assumptions made by the uncertainty method. Given the significant differences in uncertainty estimates between methods, we suggest that a clear statement of uncertainty assumptions be presented alongside streamflow uncertainty estimates.

KW - hydrometry

KW - rating curve

KW - stream gauge

KW - uncertainty

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85054176472&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2018WR022708

DO - 10.1029/2018WR022708

M3 - Article

VL - 54

SP - 7149

EP - 7176

JO - Water Resources Research

JF - Water Resources Research

SN - 0043-1397

IS - 10

ER -