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Assimilation of water temperature and discharge data for ensemble water temperature forecasting
- Ouellet-Proulx, Sébastien, Chimi Chiadjeu, Olivier, Boucher, Marie-Amélie, St-Hilaire, André
- Journal of hydrology 2017 v.554 pp. 342-359
- filters, hydrologic models, resource allocation, rivers, runoff, uncertainty, water temperature, Canada
- Recent work demonstrated the value of water temperature forecasts to improve water resources allocation and highlighted the importance of quantifying their uncertainty adequately. In this study, we perform a multisite cascading ensemble assimilation of discharge and water temperature on the Nechako River (Canada) using particle filters. Hydrological and thermal initial conditions were provided to a rainfall-runoff model, coupled to a thermal module, using ensemble meteorological forecasts as inputs to produce 5day ensemble thermal forecasts. Results show good performances of the particle filters with improvements of the accuracy of initial conditions by more than 65% compared to simulations without data assimilation for both the hydrological and the thermal component. All thermal forecasts returned continuous ranked probability scores under 0.8°C when using a set of 40 initial conditions and meteorological forecasts comprising 20 members. A greater contribution of the initial conditions to the total uncertainty of the system for 1-dayforecasts is observed (mean ensemble spread=1.1°C) compared to meteorological forcings (mean ensemble spread=0.6°C). The inclusion of meteorological uncertainty is critical to maintain reliable forecasts and proper ensemble spread for lead times of 2days and more. This work demonstrates the ability of the particle filters to properly update the initial conditions of a coupled hydrological and thermal model and offers insights regarding the contribution of two major sources of uncertainty to the overall uncertainty in thermal forecasts.