Are Soil Moisture Accounting Models Needed for the Real Time Forecasting of River Flows?

by Carlos E. Puente, Univ of California, Davis, CA, USA,
Rafael L. Bras, Univ of California, Davis, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


The difficulties inherent in using conceptual rainfall-runoff models in conjunction with filtering techniques, for the real time forecasting of river flows, are reviewed. The issue of whether soil moisture accounting models are necessary to guarantee reliable forecasts is investigated by comparing the performance of two alternative models: one with and one without a soil moisture component. Results found in a case study suggest that, given observations of rainfall and discharge only, the soil moisture component could be bypassed and still reasonable flow forecasts could be obtained.

Subject Headings: Soil water | Rainfall-runoff relationships | Forecasting | River flow | Streamflow | Mathematical models | Case studies

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