Stage-discharge uncertainty derived with a non-stationary rating curve in the Choluteca River, Honduras

Westerberg, Ida and Guerrero, Jose-Luis and Seibert, Jan and Beven, Keith and Halldin, Sven (2011) Stage-discharge uncertainty derived with a non-stationary rating curve in the Choluteca River, Honduras. Hydrological Processes, 25 (4). pp. 603-613. ISSN 0885-6087

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Uncertainty in discharge data must be critically assessed before data can be used in, e.g. water resources estimation or hydrological modelling. In the alluvial Choluteca River in Honduras, the river-bed characteristics change over time as fill, scour and other processes occur in the channel, leading to a non-stationary stage-discharge relationship and difficulties in deriving consistent rating curves. Few studies have investigated the uncertainties related to non-stationarity in the stage-discharge relationship. We calculated discharge and the associated uncertainty with a weighted fuzzy regression of rating curves applied within a moving time window, based on estimated uncertainties in the observed rating data. An 18-year-long dataset with unusually frequent ratings (1268 in total) was the basis of this study. A large temporal variability in the stage-discharge relationship was found especially for low flows. The time-variable rating curve resulted in discharge estimate differences of − 60 to + 90% for low flows and ± 20% for medium to high flows when compared to a constant rating curve. The final estimated uncertainty in discharge was substantial and the uncertainty limits varied between − 43 to + 73% of the best discharge estimate.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Hydrological Processes
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? dischargeuncertaintyalluvial riverstage-dischargerating curvefuzzy regressionwater science and technology ??
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Deposited On:
27 Feb 2013 15:54
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 13:38