Comparing the performance of an autoregressive state-space approach to the linear regression and artificial neural network for streamflow estimation

Y. Yang, T. T. Huang, Y. Z. Shi, O. Wendroth, B. Y. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Accurate streamflow estimation remains a great challenge although diverse modeling techniques have been developed during recent decades. In contrast to the process-based models, the empirical data-driven methods are easy to operate, require low computing capacity and yield fairly accurate outcomes, among which the state-space (STATE) approach takes use of the temporal structures inherent in streamflow series and serves as a feasible solution for streamflow estimation. Yet this method has rarely been applied, neither its comparison with other methods. The objective was to compare the performance of an autoregressive STATE approach to the traditional multiple linear regression and artificial neural network in simulating annual streamflow series of 15 catchments located in the Loess Plateau of China. Annual data of streamflow (Q), precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET) during 1961 ~ 2013 were collected. The results show that STATE was generally the most accurate method for Q estimation, explaining almost 90% of the total variance averaged over all the 15 catchments. The estimation of streamflow relied on its own of the previous year for most catchments. Besides, the impacts of P and PET on the temporal distribution of streamflow were almost equal. Missing data were estimated using the STATE method, which allowed inter-annual trend analysis of the streamflow. Significant downward trends were manifested at all the 15 catchments during the study period and the corresponding slopes ranged from -0.24 to -1.71 mm y-1. These findings hold important implications for hydrological modelling and management in China’s Loess Plateau and other arid and semi-arid regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-48
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Environmental Informatics
Volume37
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 41571130082 and 41601277] and the State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and ResourcesEcology [Grant No. 2017-ZY-09].

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement: The study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 41571130082 and 41601277] and the State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resources Ecology [Grant No. 2017-ZY-09].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 ISEIS All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Artificial neural network
  • Climatic factors
  • Loess Plateau
  • State-space model
  • Streamflow
  • Time series analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences (all)
  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Computer Science Applications

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