Establishing uncertainty ranges of hydrologic indices across climate and physiographic regions of the Congo River Basin

Pierre M Kabuya*, Denis A Hughes, Raphael M Tshimanga, Mark A Trigg, Paul Bates

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


Study region: The five drainage systems of the Congo River Basin in central Africa.

Study focus: This study aims to establish uncertainty ranges of hydrologic indices and to provide a basis for transferring hydrologic indices from gauged to ungauged sub-basins by identifying the most influential climate and physiographic attributes.

New Insights for this region: Only limited information on individual sub-basins natural hydrology exists across the Congo River Basin, limiting the application of commonly used regionalization approaches for prediction in ungauged sub-basins. This study uses predictive equations for the hydrologic indices across all climate and physiographic regions based only on the aridity index. The degree of uncertainty in the derived uncertainty bounds is less than 41% for both Q10/MMQ and Q50/MMQ indices across the basin. A greater degree of uncertainty is associated with the runoff ratio and the Q90/MMQ indices. The uncertainty is assumed to be due to uncertainty in rainfall and evapotranspiration estimates, a lack of spatial representativeness of the available observed streamflow data and other factors (e.g., geology) that might control the hydrologic indices rather than the aridity index alone. The uncertainty ranges provide the first estimates of hydrologic indices that are intended to constrain the outputs from hydrologic models and appropriately quantify prediction uncertainty and risks associated with water resources decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100710
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Hydrology: Regional Studies
Early online date10 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • sub-basin classification
  • Congo River basin
  • hydrologic indices
  • uncertainty ranges


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