Multicriteria design of rain gauge networks for flash flood prediction in semiarid ca
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Multicriteria design of rain gauge networks for flash flood prediction in semiarid ca
Multicriteria design of rain gauge networks for flash flood prediction in semiarid catchments with complex terrain

Author: Till H. M. Volkmann, Steve W. Lyon, Hoshin V. Gupta, and Peter A. Troch | Size: 1.9 MB | Format: PDF | Quality: Unspecified | Publisher: Wiley | Year: 2010 | pages: 16

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Despite the availability of weather radar data at high spatial (1 km2) and temporal
(5–15 min) resolution, ground‐based rain gauges continue to be necessary for accurate
estimation of storm rainfall input to catchments during flash flood events, especially in
mountainous catchments. Given economical considerations, a long‐standing problem in
catchment hydrology is to establish optimal placement of a small number of rain gauges to
acquire data on both rainfall depth and spatiotemporal variability of intensity during
extreme storm events. Using weather radar observations and a dense network of 40 tipping
bucket rain gauges, this study examines whether it is possible to determine a reliable “best”
set of rain gauge locations for the Sabino Canyon catchment near Tucson, Arizona, USA,
given its complex topography and dominant storm track pattern. High‐quality rainfall
data are used to evaluate all possible configurations of a “practical” network having from
one to four rain gauges. A multicriteria design strategy is used to guide rain gauge
placement, by simultaneously minimizing the residual percent bias and maximizing the
coefficient of correlation between the estimated and true mean areal rainfall and
minimizing the normalized spatial mean squared error between the estimated and true
spatiotemporal rainfall distribution. The performance of the optimized rain gauge network
was then compared against randomly designed network ensembles by evaluating the
quality of streamflows predicted using the Kinematic Runoff and Erosion (KINEROS2)
event‐based rainfall‐runoff model. Our results indicate that the multicriteria strategy
provided a robust design by which a sparse but accurate network of rain gauges could
be implemented for semiarid basins such as the one studied.

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