An Efficient Method for Rating Curve Estimation from Remote Discharge

S. Barbetta, F. Melone, and T. Moramarco (Italy)


discharge hydrograph, unsteady flow, streamflow measurements, rating curve.


An efficient method is proposed for reconstructing the discharge hydrograph at a river section where only water level is monitored and the discharge is recorded at another upstream section. The method is based on the estimation of two parameters linked to remotely observed discharge. Without using a flood routing procedure and without need of a rating curve at local site, it allows to relate the local river stage with hydraulic condition at a remote upstream section also when lateral inflows are significant. Calibration and validation of the method are carried out through its application to different flood events observed in two equipped river reaches of the Upper Tiber basin in Central Italy; each one is characterized by a significant contributing drainage area. The shape characteristics of the reconstructed discharge hydrographs are found similar to those of the observed at the end section of each river reach. A comparison between the Muskingum model and the proposed method shows that the latter is more reliable if a hypothetical rating curve must be given at the downstream section.

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