Copula-based method for Multisite Monthly and Daily Streamflow Simulation

Friday, 19 December 2014
Minglong Dai1, Lu Chen1,2, Vijay P Singh2 and Shenglian Guo3, (1)Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, (2)Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, United States, (3)Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
Multisite stochastic simulation of streamflow sequences is needed for water resources planning and management. In this study, a new copula-based method is proposed for generating long-term multisite monthly and daily streamflow data. A multivariate copula, which is established based on bivariate copulas and conditional probability distributions, is employed to describe temporal dependences (single site) and spatial dependences (between sites). Monthly or daily streamflows at multiple sites are then generated by sampling from the conditional copula. Three tributaries of Colorado River and the upper Yangtze River are selected to evaluate the proposed methodology. Results show that the generated data at both higher and lower time scales can capture the distribution properties of the single site and preserve the spatial correlation of streamflows at different locations. The main advantage of the method is that the model parameters can be easily estimated using Kendall tau rank correlation coefficient, which makes it possible to generate daily streamflow data. The method provides a new tool for multisite stochastic simulation.