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Towards Improving River Discharge Estimation in Ungauged Basins: Calibration of Rainfall-runoff Models Based on Satellite Observations of River Flow Width at Basin Outlet : Volume 7, Issue 3 (25/06/2010)

By Wenchao Sun

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Book Id: WPLBN0004012567
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 34
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Towards Improving River Discharge Estimation in Ungauged Basins: Calibration of Rainfall-runoff Models Based on Satellite Observations of River Flow Width at Basin Outlet : Volume 7, Issue 3 (25/06/2010)  
Author: Wenchao Sun
Volume: Vol. 7, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Bastola, S., Ishidaira, H., & Sun, W. (2010). Towards Improving River Discharge Estimation in Ungauged Basins: Calibration of Rainfall-runoff Models Based on Satellite Observations of River Flow Width at Basin Outlet : Volume 7, Issue 3 (25/06/2010). Retrieved from

Description: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Yamanashi, Japan. Rainfall-runoff models are common tools for river discharge estimation in the field of hydrology. In ungauged basins, the dependence on observed river discharge data for calibration restricts applications of rainfall-runoff models. The strong correlation between quantities of river cross-sectional water surface width obtained from remote sensing and corresponding in situ gauged river discharge has been verified by many researchers. In this study, a calibration scheme of rainfall-runoff models based on satellite observations of river width at basin outlet is illustrated. One distinct advantage is that this calibration is independent of river discharge information. The at-a-station hydraulic geometry is implemented to facilitate shifting calibration objective from river discharge to river width. The generalized likelihood uncertainty estimation methodology is applied to model calibration and uncertainty analysis. The calibration scheme is demonstrated through a case study for simulating river discharge at Pakse in the Mekong Basin. The effectiveness of calibration scheme and uncertainties associated with utilization of river width observations from space are examined from model input-state-output behaviour, capability of reproducing river discharge, and posterior parameter distribution. The results indicate that the satellite observation of river width is a competent surrogate of observed discharge for the calibration of rainfall-runoff model at Pakse and the proposed method has the potential for improving reliability of river discharge estimation in basins without any discharge gauging.

Towards improving river discharge estimation in ungauged basins: calibration of rainfall-runoff models based on satellite observations of river flow width at basin outlet

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