Evaluation of Maximum a Posteriori Estimation as Data Assimilation Method for Forecasting Infiltration-Inflow Affected Urban Runoff with Radar Rainfall Input

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Abstract

High quality on-line flow forecasts are useful for real-time operation of urban drainage systems and wastewater treatment plants. This requires computationally efficient models, which are continuously updated with observed data to provide good initial conditions for the forecasts. This paper presents a way of updating conceptual rainfall-runoff models using Maximum a Posteriori estimation to determine the most likely parameter constellation at the current point in time. This is done by combining information from prior parameter distributions and the model goodness of fit over a predefined period of time that precedes the forecast. The method is illustrated for an urban catchment, where flow forecasts of 0–4 h are generated by applying a lumped linear reservoir model with three cascading reservoirs. Radar rainfall observations are used as input to the model. The effects of different prior standard deviations and lengths of the auto-calibration period on the resulting flow forecast performance are evaluated. We were able to demonstrate that, if properly tuned, the method leads to a significant increase in forecasting performance compared to a model without continuous auto-calibration. Delayed responses and erratic behaviour in the parameter variations are, however, observed and the choice of prior distributions and length of auto-calibration period is not straightforward.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater
Volume8
Issue number9
Number of pages15
ISSN2073-4441
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Real-time Control
  • Flow Forecasting
  • Data Assimilation
  • Auto-Calibration
  • Maximum a Posteriori Estimation
  • Linear Resevoir Models
  • Urban Drainage Systems

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