Hydrologic characterization at ungauged locations is one of the quintessential challenges of hydrology. Beyond simulation of historical streamflows, it is similarly important to characterize the level of uncertainty in hydrologic estimates. In tandem with updates to Massachusetts Sustainable Yield Estimator, this work explores the application of global uncertainty estimates to daily streamflow simulations. Expanding on a method developed for deterministic modeling, this approach produces confidence intervals on daily streamflow developed through nonlinear spatial interpolation of daily streamflow using flow duration curves; the 95% confidence is examined. Archived cross‐validations of daily streamflows from 66 watersheds in and around Massachusetts are used to evaluate an approach to uncertainty characterization. Neighboring sites are treated as ungauged, producing relative errors that can be resampled and applied to target sites. The method, with some modification, is found to provide appropriately narrow confidence intervals that contain 95% of the observed streamflows in cross‐validation. Further characterizing uncertainty, multiday means of daily streamflow are evaluated. Working through cross‐validation in Massachusetts, two‐ to three‐month averages of daily streamflow show the best performance. These two approaches to uncertainty characterization inform how streamflow simulation produced for prediction in ungauged basins can be used for water resources management.
|Title||Characterizing uncertainty in daily streamflow estimates at ungauged locations for the Massachusetts sustainable yield estimator|
|Authors||William H. Farmer, Sara B. Levin|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of the American Water Resources Association|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||National Research Program - Central Branch|