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Parameter Uncertainty Propagation in a Rainfall–Runoff Model; Case Study: Karoon-III River Basin

Razmkhah, Homa
Water resources 2018 v.45 no.1 pp. 34-49
basins, case studies, cumulative distribution, hydrologic cycle, hydrologic models, parameter uncertainty, probability distribution, runoff, saturated hydraulic conductivity, watersheds, Iran
Conceptual hydrological models are popular tools for simulating land phase of hydrological cycle. Uncertainty arises from a variety of sources such as input error, calibration and parameters. Hydrologic modeling researches indicate that parametric uncertainty has been considered as one of the most important source. The objective of this study was to evaluate parameter uncertainty and its propagation in rainfall-runoff modeling. This study tried to model daily flows and calculate uncertainty bounds for Karoon-III basin, Southwest of Iran, using HEC-HMS (SMA). The parameters were represented by probability distribution functions (PDF), and the effect on simulated runoff was investigated using Latin Hypercube Sampling (LHS) on Monte Carlo (MC). Three chosen parameters, based on sensitivity analysis, were saturated-hydraulic-conductivity (Ks), Clark storage coefficient (R) and time of concentration (t c). Uncertainty associated with parameters were accounted for, by representing each with a probability distribution. Uncertainty bounds was calculated, using parameter sets captured from LHS on parameters PDF of sub-basins and propagating to the model. Results showed that maximum reliability (11%) resulted from Ks propagating. For three parameters, underestimation was more than overestimation. Maximum sharpness and standard deviation (STD) was resulted from propagating Ks. Cumulative Distribution Function (CDF) of flow and uncertainty bounds showed that as flow increased, the width of uncertainty bounds increased for all parameters.