Abstract: Estimating the uncertainty of hydrological models remains a relevant challenge in applied hydrology, mostly because it is not easy to parameterize the complex structure of hydrological model errors. A nonparametric technique is proposed as an alternative to parametric error models to estimate the uncertainty of hydrological predictions. Within this approach, the above uncertainty is assumed to depend on input data uncertainty, parameter uncertainty and model error, where the latter aggregates all sources of uncertainty that are not considered explicitly. Errors of hydrological models are simulated by resampling from their past realizations using a nearest neighbor approach, therefore avoiding a formal description of their statistical properties. The approach is tested using synthetic data which refer to the case study located in Italy. The results are compared with those obtained using a formal statistical technique (meta-Gaussian approach) from the same case study. Our findings prove that the nearest neighbor approach provides simplicity in application and a significant improvement in regard to the meta-Gaussian approach. Resampling techniques appear therefore to be an interesting option for uncertainty assessment in hydrology, provided that historical data are available to provide a consistent description of the model error.

Estimating the Uncertainty of Hydrological Predictions through Data-Driven Resampling Techniques

MONTANARI, ALBERTO;
2015

Abstract

Abstract: Estimating the uncertainty of hydrological models remains a relevant challenge in applied hydrology, mostly because it is not easy to parameterize the complex structure of hydrological model errors. A nonparametric technique is proposed as an alternative to parametric error models to estimate the uncertainty of hydrological predictions. Within this approach, the above uncertainty is assumed to depend on input data uncertainty, parameter uncertainty and model error, where the latter aggregates all sources of uncertainty that are not considered explicitly. Errors of hydrological models are simulated by resampling from their past realizations using a nearest neighbor approach, therefore avoiding a formal description of their statistical properties. The approach is tested using synthetic data which refer to the case study located in Italy. The results are compared with those obtained using a formal statistical technique (meta-Gaussian approach) from the same case study. Our findings prove that the nearest neighbor approach provides simplicity in application and a significant improvement in regard to the meta-Gaussian approach. Resampling techniques appear therefore to be an interesting option for uncertainty assessment in hydrology, provided that historical data are available to provide a consistent description of the model error.
JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGIC ENGINEERING
Anna E. Sikorska;Alberto Montanari;Demetris Koutsoyiannis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/309920
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