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Transferring global uncertainty estimates from gauged to ungauged catchments

Abstract : Predicting streamflow hydrographs in ungauged catchments is challenging, and accompanying the estimates with realistic uncertainty bounds is an even more complex task. In this paper, we present a method to transfer global uncertainty estimates from gauged to ungauged catchments and we test it over a set of 907 catchments located in France, using two rainfall–runoff models. We evaluate the quality of the uncertainty estimates based on three expected qualities: reliability, sharpness, and overall skill. The robustness of the method to the availability of information on gauged catchments was also evaluated using a hydrometrical desert approach. Our results show that the method presents advantageous perspectives, providing reliable and sharp uncertainty bounds at ungauged locations in a majority of cases.
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François Bourgin, V. Andréassian, C. Perrin, L. Oudin. Transferring global uncertainty estimates from gauged to ungauged catchments. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, European Geosciences Union, 2015, 19 (5), pp.2535-2546. ⟨10.5194/hess-19-2535-2015⟩. ⟨hal-01224248⟩

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