Evaluation of statistical and rainfall-runoff models for predicting historical daily streamflow time series in the Des Moines and Iowa River watersheds
Daily records of streamflow are essential to understanding hydrologic systems and managing the interactions between human and natural systems. Many watersheds and locations lack streamgages to provide accurate and reliable records of daily streamflow. In such ungaged watersheds, statistical tools and rainfall-runoff models are used to estimate daily streamflow. Previous work compared 19 different techniques for predicting daily streamflow records in the southeastern United States. Here, five of the better-performing methods are compared in a different hydroclimatic region of the United States, in Iowa. The methods fall into three classes: (1) drainage-area ratio methods, (2) nonlinear spatial interpolations using flow duration curves, and (3) mechanistic rainfall-runoff models. The first two classes are each applied with nearest-neighbor and map-correlated index streamgages. Using a threefold validation and robust rank-based evaluation, the methods are assessed for overall goodness of fit of the hydrograph of daily streamflow, the ability to reproduce a daily, no-fail storage-yield curve, and the ability to reproduce key streamflow statistics. As in the Southeast study, a nonlinear spatial interpolation of daily streamflow using flow duration curves is found to be a method with the best predictive accuracy. Comparisons with previous work in Iowa show that the accuracy of mechanistic models with at-site calibration is substantially degraded in the ungaged framework.
Farmer, W.H., Knight, R.R., Eash, D.A., Hutchinson, K.J., Linhart, S.M., Christiansen, D.E., Archfield, S.A., Over, T.M., and Kiang, J.E., 2015, Evaluation of statistical and rainfall-runoff models for predicting historical daily streamflow time series in the Des Moines and Iowa River watersheds: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5089, 34 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155089.
ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)
Table of Contents
- Study Area and Data Selection
- Methods to Estimate Daily Streamflow
- Methods of Analysis
- Results and Discussion
- Summary and Conclusions
- References Cited
- Appendix 1. Stations Used in Analysis
- Appendix 2. Basin Characteristics Used in Analysis
- Appendix 3. Cross-Validation of Map Correlation
- Appendix 4. Distributions of Each Performance Metric
|USGS Numbered Series
|Evaluation of statistical and rainfall-runoff models for predicting historical daily streamflow time series in the Des Moines and Iowa River watersheds
|Scientific Investigations Report
|U.S. Geological Survey
|Office of Surface Water
|vii, 34 p.
|Online Only (Y/N)
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)
|Google Analytic Metrics