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Synthetic design hydrographs for ungauged catchments: a comparison of regionalization methods


Brunner, Manuela I; Furrer, Reinhard; Sikorska, Anna E; Viviroli, Daniel; Seibert, Jan; Favre, Anne-Catherine (2018). Synthetic design hydrographs for ungauged catchments: a comparison of regionalization methods. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 32(7):1993-2023.

Abstract

Design flood estimates for a given return period are required in both gauged and ungauged catchments for hydraulic design and risk assessments. Contrary to classical design estimates, synthetic design hydrographs provide not only information on the peak magnitude of events but also on the corresponding hydrograph volumes together with the hydrograph shapes. In this study, we tested different regionalization approaches to transfer parameters of synthetic design hydrographs from gauged to ungauged catchments. These approaches include classical regionalization methods such as linear regression techniques, spatial methods, and methods based on the formation of homogeneous regions. In addition to these classical approaches, we tested nonlinear regression models not commonly used in hydrological regionalization studies, such as random forest, bagging, and boosting. We found that parameters related to the magnitude of the design event can be regionalized well using both linear and nonlinear regression techniques using catchment area, length of the main channel, maximum precipitation intensity, and relief energy as explanatory variables. The hydrograph shape, however, was found to be more difficult to regionalize due to its high variability within a catchment. Such variability might be better represented by looking at flood-type specific synthetic design hydrographs.

Abstract

Design flood estimates for a given return period are required in both gauged and ungauged catchments for hydraulic design and risk assessments. Contrary to classical design estimates, synthetic design hydrographs provide not only information on the peak magnitude of events but also on the corresponding hydrograph volumes together with the hydrograph shapes. In this study, we tested different regionalization approaches to transfer parameters of synthetic design hydrographs from gauged to ungauged catchments. These approaches include classical regionalization methods such as linear regression techniques, spatial methods, and methods based on the formation of homogeneous regions. In addition to these classical approaches, we tested nonlinear regression models not commonly used in hydrological regionalization studies, such as random forest, bagging, and boosting. We found that parameters related to the magnitude of the design event can be regionalized well using both linear and nonlinear regression techniques using catchment area, length of the main channel, maximum precipitation intensity, and relief energy as explanatory variables. The hydrograph shape, however, was found to be more difficult to regionalize due to its high variability within a catchment. Such variability might be better represented by looking at flood-type specific synthetic design hydrographs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Mathematics
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:20 Mar 2018 15:02
Last Modified:09 Jun 2018 01:02
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1436-3240
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00477-018-1523-3

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