Prediction of river discharge at ungaged sites with analysis of uncertainty

Robert U. Murdock, John S. Gulliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A technique is outlined for assigning uncertainty to the estimation of cumulative probability distribution functions (flow-duration curves) for river discharge at ungaged sites. Data from existing stage-discharge gaging stations are used to determine a best-fit exponent for the adjustment of gaged data to a site within the watershed, and to estimate the uncertainty associated with said adjustment. Average annual discharge is shown to be a good indicator of the required adjustment and uncertainty of cumulative probability distribution functions, especially when applied to mean expected discharge through a water-development project. The distribution of the actual values around the predicted is log-normal, with a simple power relationship between discharge and drainage area describing the median values. In this paper, the application is to flow-duration curves for the addition of hydropower capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-487
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


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