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Ratingcurve: A Python package for fitting streamflow rating curves

January 28, 2024
Streamflow is one of the most important variables in hydrology, but it is difficult to measure continuously. As a result, nearly all streamflow time series are estimated from rating curves that define a mathematical relationship between streamflow and some easy-to-measure proxy like water surface elevation (stage). Despite the existence of automated methods, most rating curves are still fit manually, which can be time-consuming and subjective. Although several automated methods exist, they vary greatly in performance because of the non-convex nature of the problem. In this work, we develop a parameterization of the segmented power law that works reliably with minimal data, which could serve operationally or as a benchmark for evaluating other methods. The model, along with test data and tutorials, is available as an open-source Python package called ratingcurve. The implementation uses a modern probabilistic machine-learning framework, which is relatively easy to modify so that others can improve upon it.
Publication Year 2024
Title Ratingcurve: A Python package for fitting streamflow rating curves
DOI 10.3390/hydrology11020014
Authors Timothy O. Hodson, Keith James Doore, Terry A. Kenney, Thomas M. Over, Muluken Yeheyis
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Hydrology
Index ID 70252273
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Midwest Water Science Center