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Calibrating a hydrological model in stage space to account for rating curve uncertainties: general framework and key challenges


Sikorska, Anna E; Renard, Benjamin (2017). Calibrating a hydrological model in stage space to account for rating curve uncertainties: general framework and key challenges. Advances in Water Resources, 105:51-66.

Abstract

Hydrological models are typically calibrated with discharge time series derived from a rating curve, which is subject to parametric and structural uncertainties that are usually neglected. In this work, we develop a Bayesian approach to probabilistically represent parametric and structural rating curve errors in the calibration of hydrological models. To achieve this, we couple the hydrological model with the inverse rating curve yielding the rainfall–stage model that is calibrated in stage space. Acknowledging uncertainties of the hydrological and the rating curve models allows assessing their contribution to total uncertainties of stages and discharges. Our results from a case study in France indicate that (a) ignoring rating curve uncertainty leads to changes in hydrological parameters, and (b) structural uncertainty of hydrological model dominates other uncertainty sources. The paper ends with discussing key challenges that remain to be addressed to achieve a meaningful quantification of various uncertainty sources that affect hydrological model, as including input errors.

Abstract

Hydrological models are typically calibrated with discharge time series derived from a rating curve, which is subject to parametric and structural uncertainties that are usually neglected. In this work, we develop a Bayesian approach to probabilistically represent parametric and structural rating curve errors in the calibration of hydrological models. To achieve this, we couple the hydrological model with the inverse rating curve yielding the rainfall–stage model that is calibrated in stage space. Acknowledging uncertainties of the hydrological and the rating curve models allows assessing their contribution to total uncertainties of stages and discharges. Our results from a case study in France indicate that (a) ignoring rating curve uncertainty leads to changes in hydrological parameters, and (b) structural uncertainty of hydrological model dominates other uncertainty sources. The paper ends with discussing key challenges that remain to be addressed to achieve a meaningful quantification of various uncertainty sources that affect hydrological model, as including input errors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:16 May 2017 12:34
Last Modified:16 May 2017 12:35
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0309-1708
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2017.04.011

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Content: Accepted Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only until 1 July 2018
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Embargo till: 2018-07-01