Urban drainage models - making uncertainty analysis simple

Luca Vezzaro, Peter Steen Mikkelsen, Ana Deletic, David McCarthy

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    There is increasing awareness about uncertainties in modelling of urban drainage systems and, as such, many new methods for uncertainty analyses have been
    developed. Despite this, all available methods have limitations which restrict their widespread application among practitioners. Here, a modified Monte-Carlo based method is presented which reduces the subjectivity inherent in typical uncertainty approaches (e.g. cut-off thresholds), while using tangible concepts and providing practical outcomes for practitioners. The method compares the model’s uncertainty bands to the uncertainty inherent in each measured/observed datapoint; an issue which is commonly overlook in the uncertainty analysis of urban drainage models. This comparison allows the user to intuitively estimate the optimum number of simulations required to conduct uncertainty analyses. The output of the method includes parameter probability distributions (often used for sensitivity analyses) and prediction intervals. To demonstrate the new method, it is applied to a conceptual rainfall-runoff model using a dataset collected from Melbourne, Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUrban Drainage Modelling : Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Urban Drainage Modelling, Belgrade, Serbia, 4-6 September 2012
    Number of pages10
    PublisherUniversity of Belgrade
    Publication date2012
    ISBN (Print)978-86-7518-156-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event9th International Conference on Urban Drainage Modelling - Belgrade, Serbia
    Duration: 4 Sept 20126 Sept 2012


    Conference9th International Conference on Urban Drainage Modelling
    Internet address


    • Drainage
    • Modeling
    • Urban
    • Uncertainty
    • Sensitivity
    • Parameter estimation


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