Using unsteady-state water level data to estimate channel roughness and dischargehydrograph

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A novel methodology for simultaneous discharge and channel roughness estimation is developed and applied to data sets available at three experimental sites. The methodology is based on the synchronous measurement of water level data in two river sections far some kilometers from each other, as well as on the use of a diffusive flow routing solver and does not require any direct velocity measurement. The methodology is first analyzed for the simplest case of a channel with a large slope, where the kinematic assumption holds. A sensitivity and a model error analysis are carried out in this hypothesis in order to show the stability of the results with respect to the error in the input parameters in the case of homogeneous roughness and to analyze the effect of unknown roughness heterogeneity on the estimated discharges. The methodology is then extended to the more general case of channels with mild slope and validated using field data previously collected in three Italian rivers: the Arno (in Tuscany), the Tiber (in Latium) and the Vallo di Diana, a small tributary of the Tanagro river (in Southern Italy). The performance of the proposed algorithm has been investigated according to three performance criteria estimating the quality of the match between the measured and the computed stage and discharge hydrographs. Results of the field tests can be considered good, despite the uncertainties of the field data and of the measured values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1223-1240
Number of pages18
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology

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