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Estimating the uncertainty of streamgauging techniques using in situ collaborative interlaboratory experiments

Abstract : While the application of uncertainty propagation methods to hydrometry is still challenging, in situ collaborative interlaboratory experiments are a valuable tool for empirically estimating the uncertainty of streamgauging techniques in given measurement conditions. We propose a simple procedure for organizing such experiments and processing the results according to the authoritative ISO standards related to interlaboratory experiments, which are of common practice in many metrological fields. Beyond the computation and interpretation of the results, some issues are discussed as regards: the estimation of the streamgauging technique bias in the absence of accurate enough discharge references in rivers; the uncertainty of the uncertainty estimates, according to the number of participants and repeated measurements; the criteria related to error sources which are possibly meaningful for categorizing measurement conditions. The interest and limitations of the in situ collaborative interlaboratory experiments are exemplified by an application to the hydro-acoustic profiler (ADCP) streamgauging technique conducted in 2010 at two different sites downstream of Génissiat hydropower plant in the Rhône river, France. Typically, the expanded uncertainty (with a probability level of 95%) of the average discharge over 6 successive transects varied from +/-5% at one site with favourable conditions to +/-9% at the other site due to unstable flow conditions.
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  • HAL Id : hal-01707833, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00046066

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J. Le Coz, B. Blanquart, K. Pobanz, G. Dramais, G. Pierrefeu, et al.. Estimating the uncertainty of streamgauging techniques using in situ collaborative interlaboratory experiments. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2016, 142 (7), 43 p. ⟨hal-01707833⟩

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