Ensemble Combination of Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

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Journal of Hydrologic Engineering

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Streamflow -- Mathematical models


Various hydrologic models with different complexities have been developed to represent the characteristics of river basins, improve streamflow forecasts such as seasonal volumetric flow predictions, and meet other demands from different stakeholders. Because no single hydrologic model is able to perfectly simulate the observed flow, multimodel combination techniques are developed to combine forecasts obtained from different models and to quantify the uncertainties with the goal of improving upon single-model performance. In this study, a comprehensive set of multimodel ensemble averaging techniques with varying complexities are investigated for operational forecasting over four river basins in the Western United States. Ensemble merging models are divided into three categories of simple, intermediate, and complex, and comparison is made between each class by using a bootstrap approach. Analysis suggests that model combination effectively improves most of the individual seasonal forecasts and can outperform the best forecast model. Simple average, median, Bates-Granger, constrained linear regression, and Bayesian model averaging optimized by expectation maximization showed better results compared with other methods over three basins. For the Rogue River basin, the intermediate and complex models outperformed most of the individual forecasts and the simple methods. Multimodeling techniques based on information criteria showed similar performances.


© 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers

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Unaffiliated researchers can access the work here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0001250



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