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Combining hydraulic knowledge and uncertain gaugings in the estimation of hydrometric rating curves: a Bayesian approach

Abstract : Discharge time series in rivers and streams are usually based on simple stage-discharge relations calibrated using a set of direct stage-discharge measurements called gaugings. Bayesian inference recently emerged as a most promising framework to build such hydrometric rating curves accurately and to estimate the associated uncertainty. In addition to providing the rigorous statistical framework necessary to uncertainty analysis, the main advantage of the Bayesian analysis of rating curves arises from the quantitative assessment of i) the hydraulic controls that govern the stage-discharge relation, and of ii) the individual uncertainties of available gaugings, which often differ according to the discharge measurement procedure and the flow conditions. In this paper, we introduce the BaRatin method for the Bayesian analysis of stationary rating curves and we apply it to three typical cases of hydrometric stations with contrasted flow conditions and variable abundance of hydraulic knowledge and gauging data. The results exemplify that the thorough analysis of hydraulic controls and the quantification of gauging uncertainties are required to obtain reliable and physically sound results.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 4:42:48 PM
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J. Le Coz, Benjamin Renard, L. Bonnifait, F. Branger, R. Le Boursicaud. Combining hydraulic knowledge and uncertain gaugings in the estimation of hydrometric rating curves: a Bayesian approach. Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2014, 509, p. 573 - p. 587. ⟨10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.11.016⟩. ⟨hal-00934237⟩



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