Uncertainty Estimates for Rainfall-Runoff Model

by Theodore V. Hromadka, II, Williamson and Schmid, Irvine, United States,
Richard H. McCuen, Williamson and Schmid, Irvine, United States,
Robert J. Whitley, Williamson and Schmid, Irvine, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Almost all rainfall-runoff link-node models in use today involve the subdivision of the catchment into smaller areas, linked together by a system of channel links. These 'link-node' hydrologic models represent the flow processes within the channel links by a translation (moving in time) and an attenuation (reduction of the maximum or peak flow rate) of the runoff (floodwater) hydrograph. The runoff in each subarea is based upon the available rainfall data, modified according to an assumed 'loss rate' due to soil-infiltration, ponding, evaporation, and other effects. The net effect of all these approximations is a vast spectrum of possible modeling structures. Using a stochastic integral equation, many of these rainfall-runoff models can be represented by a single generalized model that is tractable to analysis of the uncertainty in the model structure.

Subject Headings: Rainfall-runoff relationships | Hydrologic models | Uncertainty principles | Mathematical models | Structural models | Runoff | Stochastic processes | Catchments

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