Skip to content

Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standard

Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments. / Westerberg, Ida K; Wagener, Thorsten; Coxon, Gemma; Mcmillan, Hilary K.; Castellarin, Attilio; Montanari, Alberto; Freer, Jim.

In: Water Resources Research, Vol. 52, No. 3, 21.04.2016, p. 1847-1865.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Westerberg, IK, Wagener, T, Coxon, G, Mcmillan, HK, Castellarin, A, Montanari, A & Freer, J 2016, 'Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments', Water Resources Research, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 1847-1865. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015WR017635

APA

Westerberg, I. K., Wagener, T., Coxon, G., Mcmillan, H. K., Castellarin, A., Montanari, A., & Freer, J. (2016). Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments. Water Resources Research, 52(3), 1847-1865. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015WR017635

Vancouver

Westerberg IK, Wagener T, Coxon G, Mcmillan HK, Castellarin A, Montanari A et al. Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments. Water Resources Research. 2016 Apr 21;52(3):1847-1865. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015WR017635

Author

Westerberg, Ida K ; Wagener, Thorsten ; Coxon, Gemma ; Mcmillan, Hilary K. ; Castellarin, Attilio ; Montanari, Alberto ; Freer, Jim. / Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments. In: Water Resources Research. 2016 ; Vol. 52, No. 3. pp. 1847-1865.

Bibtex

@article{6dee2f71e2de48d4ac755640ef913c2d,
title = "Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments",
abstract = "Reliable information about hydrological behavior is needed for water-resource management and scientific investigations. Hydrological signatures quantify catchment behavior as index values, and can be predicted for ungauged catchments using a regionalization procedure. The prediction reliability is affected by data uncertainties for the gauged catchments used in prediction and by uncertainties in the regionalization procedure. We quantified signature uncertainty stemming from discharge data uncertainty for 43 UK catchments and propagated these uncertainties in signature regionalization, while accounting for regionalization uncertainty with a weighted-pooling-group approach. Discharge uncertainty was estimated using Monte Carlo sampling of multiple feasible rating curves. For each sampled rating curve, a discharge time series was calculated and used in deriving the gauged signature uncertainty distribution. We found that the gauged uncertainty varied with signature type, local measurement conditions and catchment behavior, with the highest uncertainties (median relative uncertainty ±30-40{\%} across all catchments) for signatures measuring high- and low-flow magnitude and dynamics. Our regionalization method allowed assessing the role and relative magnitudes of the gauged and regionalized uncertainty sources in shaping the signature uncertainty distributions predicted for catchments treated as ungauged. We found that (1) if the gauged uncertainties were neglected there was a clear risk of overconditioning the regionalization inference, e.g., by attributing catchment differences resulting from gauged uncertainty to differences in catchment behavior, and (2) uncertainty in the regionalization results was lower for signatures measuring flow distribution (e.g., mean flow) than flow dynamics (e.g., autocorrelation), and for average flows (and then high flows) compared to low flows.",
keywords = "Discharge uncertainty, Eco-hydrological flow indices, Hydrological signatures, Rating curve, Regionalization, Ungauged basins",
author = "Westerberg, {Ida K} and Thorsten Wagener and Gemma Coxon and Mcmillan, {Hilary K.} and Attilio Castellarin and Alberto Montanari and Jim Freer",
year = "2016",
month = "4",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1002/2015WR017635",
language = "English",
volume = "52",
pages = "1847--1865",
journal = "Water Resources Research",
issn = "0043-1397",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "3",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments

AU - Westerberg, Ida K

AU - Wagener, Thorsten

AU - Coxon, Gemma

AU - Mcmillan, Hilary K.

AU - Castellarin, Attilio

AU - Montanari, Alberto

AU - Freer, Jim

PY - 2016/4/21

Y1 - 2016/4/21

N2 - Reliable information about hydrological behavior is needed for water-resource management and scientific investigations. Hydrological signatures quantify catchment behavior as index values, and can be predicted for ungauged catchments using a regionalization procedure. The prediction reliability is affected by data uncertainties for the gauged catchments used in prediction and by uncertainties in the regionalization procedure. We quantified signature uncertainty stemming from discharge data uncertainty for 43 UK catchments and propagated these uncertainties in signature regionalization, while accounting for regionalization uncertainty with a weighted-pooling-group approach. Discharge uncertainty was estimated using Monte Carlo sampling of multiple feasible rating curves. For each sampled rating curve, a discharge time series was calculated and used in deriving the gauged signature uncertainty distribution. We found that the gauged uncertainty varied with signature type, local measurement conditions and catchment behavior, with the highest uncertainties (median relative uncertainty ±30-40% across all catchments) for signatures measuring high- and low-flow magnitude and dynamics. Our regionalization method allowed assessing the role and relative magnitudes of the gauged and regionalized uncertainty sources in shaping the signature uncertainty distributions predicted for catchments treated as ungauged. We found that (1) if the gauged uncertainties were neglected there was a clear risk of overconditioning the regionalization inference, e.g., by attributing catchment differences resulting from gauged uncertainty to differences in catchment behavior, and (2) uncertainty in the regionalization results was lower for signatures measuring flow distribution (e.g., mean flow) than flow dynamics (e.g., autocorrelation), and for average flows (and then high flows) compared to low flows.

AB - Reliable information about hydrological behavior is needed for water-resource management and scientific investigations. Hydrological signatures quantify catchment behavior as index values, and can be predicted for ungauged catchments using a regionalization procedure. The prediction reliability is affected by data uncertainties for the gauged catchments used in prediction and by uncertainties in the regionalization procedure. We quantified signature uncertainty stemming from discharge data uncertainty for 43 UK catchments and propagated these uncertainties in signature regionalization, while accounting for regionalization uncertainty with a weighted-pooling-group approach. Discharge uncertainty was estimated using Monte Carlo sampling of multiple feasible rating curves. For each sampled rating curve, a discharge time series was calculated and used in deriving the gauged signature uncertainty distribution. We found that the gauged uncertainty varied with signature type, local measurement conditions and catchment behavior, with the highest uncertainties (median relative uncertainty ±30-40% across all catchments) for signatures measuring high- and low-flow magnitude and dynamics. Our regionalization method allowed assessing the role and relative magnitudes of the gauged and regionalized uncertainty sources in shaping the signature uncertainty distributions predicted for catchments treated as ungauged. We found that (1) if the gauged uncertainties were neglected there was a clear risk of overconditioning the regionalization inference, e.g., by attributing catchment differences resulting from gauged uncertainty to differences in catchment behavior, and (2) uncertainty in the regionalization results was lower for signatures measuring flow distribution (e.g., mean flow) than flow dynamics (e.g., autocorrelation), and for average flows (and then high flows) compared to low flows.

KW - Discharge uncertainty

KW - Eco-hydrological flow indices

KW - Hydrological signatures

KW - Rating curve

KW - Regionalization

KW - Ungauged basins

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84960533510&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/2015WR017635

DO - 10.1002/2015WR017635

M3 - Article

VL - 52

SP - 1847

EP - 1865

JO - Water Resources Research

JF - Water Resources Research

SN - 0043-1397

IS - 3

ER -