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Coupling Poisson rectangular pulse and multiplicative microcanonical random cascade models to generate sub-daily precipitation timeseries

Pohle, Ina, Niebisch, Michael, Müller, Hannes, Schümberg, Sabine, Zha, Tingting, Maurer, Thomas, Hinz, Christoph
Journal of hydrology 2018 v.562 pp. 50-70
autocorrelation, hydrology, models, rain, stochastic processes, time series analysis, Germany
To simulate the impacts of within-storm rainfall variabilities on fast hydrological processes, long precipitation time series with high temporal resolution are required. Due to limited availability of observed data such time series are typically obtained from stochastic models. However, most existing rainfall models are limited in their ability to conserve rainfall event statistics which are relevant for hydrological processes. Poisson rectangular pulse models are widely applied to generate long time series of alternating precipitation events durations and mean intensities as well as interstorm period durations. Multiplicative microcanonical random cascade (MRC) models are used to disaggregate precipitation time series from coarse to fine temporal resolution.To overcome the inconsistencies between the temporal structure of the Poisson rectangular pulse model and the MRC model, we developed a new coupling approach by introducing two modifications to the MRC model. These modifications comprise (a) a modified cascade model (“constrained cascade”) which preserves the event durations generated by the Poisson rectangular model by constraining the first and last interval of a precipitation event to contain precipitation and (b) continuous sigmoid functions of the multiplicative weights to consider the scale-dependency in the disaggregation of precipitation events of different durations.The constrained cascade model was evaluated in its ability to disaggregate observed precipitation events in comparison to existing MRC models. For that, we used a 20-year record of hourly precipitation at six stations across Germany. The constrained cascade model showed a pronounced better agreement with the observed data in terms of both the temporal pattern of the precipitation time series (e.g. the dry and wet spell durations and autocorrelations) and event characteristics (e.g. intra-event intermittency and intensity fluctuation within events). The constrained cascade model also slightly outperformed the other MRC models with respect to the intensity-frequency relationship.To assess the performance of the coupled Poisson rectangular pulse and constrained cascade model, precipitation events were stochastically generated by the Poisson rectangular pulse model and then disaggregated by the constrained cascade model. We found that the coupled model performs satisfactorily in terms of the temporal pattern of the precipitation time series, event characteristics and the intensity-frequency relationship.