Comparison of Annual Streamflow Models

by Stephen J. Burges, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Washington, Seattle, Wash.,
Dennis P. Lettenmaier, (A.M.ASCE), Research Assoc.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Washington, Seattle, Wash.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 9, Pg. 991-1006

Document Type: Journal Paper


The operational importance of the form of an annual synthetic streamflow model and the level of its parameters was investigated. Both short-term and long-term memory models were used to generate flow traces which were run through the Thomas-Fiering Sequent Peak Algorithm. Population parameters were used in the models in all cases. Operation life was held constant at 40 yrs. The coupled flow generation-flow demand situations examined showed the marginal distribution parameters to be much more important, even in cases where substantial long-term persistence is present, than had earlier been thought. The most important conclusion to be drawn from the test is that the effect of uncertainty in any of the model parameters cannot be dismissed a priori; failure to accurately estimate and model the marginal distribution as well as the correlation structure of flow may result in substantial design errors.

Subject Headings: Parameters (statistics) | Errors (statistics) | Model accuracy | Comparative studies | Streamflow | Structural models | Flow distribution | Algorithms

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