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Journal Articles Hydrological Processes Year : 2022

Streamflow uncertainty due to the limited sensitivity of controls at hydrometric stations

Abstract

Streamflow data measured at hydrometric stations are affected by uncertainty due to water level (or stage) measurement errors. This uncertainty increases as the sensitivity of the stage-discharge controls decreases. A recently proposed method is used to demonstrate the role of control sensitivity in propagating stage uncertainty to streamflow uncertainty among other error sources. The method is first applied to a fictitious hydrometric station with five alternative scenarios of controls with variable sensitivity. The fictitious controls are designed on a flat weir without or with triangular or rectangular notches. The method is also evaluated using a real hydrometric station where the initially flat weir was changed to a weir with a rectangular notch. Both applications confirm the importance of the sensitivity of the controls, showing that a narrow notch in a flat control substantially reduces the uncertainty of daily, monthly and yearly discharges as well as the uncertainty of a low flow index. Quantifying such uncertainty component is essential to optimize the design of hydrometric stations and to provide streamflow data with acceptable uncertainty, especially for low flows.
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Dates and versions

hal-03581229 , version 1 (19-02-2022)

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Ivan Horner, Jérôme Le Coz, Benjamin Renard, Flora Branger, Mickaël Lagouy. Streamflow uncertainty due to the limited sensitivity of controls at hydrometric stations. Hydrological Processes, 2022, 36 (2), pp.e14497. ⟨10.1002/hyp.14497⟩. ⟨hal-03581229⟩
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