Physics and Chemistry of the Earth vol:42-44 pages:21-30
Errors and uncertainties in hydrological, hydraulic and environmental models are often substantial. In good modelling practice, they are quantified in order to supply decision-makers with important additional information on model limitations and sources of uncertainty. Several uncertainty analysis methods exist, often with various underlying assumptions. One of these methods is based on variance decomposition. The method allows splitting the variance of the total error in the model results (as estimated after comparing model results with observations) in its major contributing uncertainty sources. This paper discusses an advanced version of that method where error distributions for rainfall, other inputs and parameters
are propagated in the model and the ‘‘rest’’ uncertainties considered as model structural errors for different parts of the model. By expert knowledge, the iid assumption that is often made in model error analysis is addressed upfront. The method also addresses the problems of heteroscedasticity and serial dependence of the errors involved. The method has been applied by the author to modelling applications of sewer water quantity and quality, river water quality and river flooding.