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Article

Hydrological Early Warning System Based on a Deep Learning Runoff Model Coupled with a Meteorological Forecast

1
Departamento de Ingeniería Civil, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8370448, Chile
2
Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8370448, Chile
3
Modelación Ambiental SpA, Santiago 7500015, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(9), 1808; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091808
Received: 1 August 2019 / Revised: 20 August 2019 / Accepted: 26 August 2019 / Published: 30 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
The intensification of the hydrological cycle because of global warming raises concerns about future floods and their impact on large cities where exposure to these events has also increased. The development of adequate adaptation solutions such as early warning systems is crucial. Here, we used deep learning (DL) for weather-runoff forecasting in región Metropolitana of Chile, a large urban area in a valley at the foot of the Andes Mountains, with more than 7 million inhabitants. The final goal of this research is to develop an effective forecasting system to provide timely information and support in real-time decision making. For this purpose, we implemented a coupled model of a near-future global meteorological forecast with a short-range runoff forecasting system. Starting from a traditional hydrological conceptual model, we defined the hydro-meteorological and geomorphological variables that were used in the data-driven weather-runoff forecast models. The meteorological variables were obtained through statistical scaling of the Global Forecast System (GFS), thus enabling near-future prediction, and two data-driven approaches were implemented for predicting the entire hourly flow time-series in the near future (3 days), a simple Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and a Deep Learning (DL) approach based on Long-Short Term Memory (LSTM) cells. We show that the coupling between meteorological forecasts and data-driven weather-runoff forecast models are able to satisfy two basic requirements that any early warning system should have: The forecast should be given in advance, and it should be accurate and reliable. In this context, DL significantly improves runoff forecast when compared with a traditional data-driven approach such as ANN, being accurate in predicting time-evolution of output variables, with an error of 5% for DL, measured in terms of the root mean square error (RMSE) for predicting the peak flow, compared to 15.5% error for ANN, which is adequate to warn communities at risk and initiate disaster response operations. View Full-Text
Keywords: deep learning; weather-runoff forecasting model; hydrological extremes; water adaptation systems deep learning; weather-runoff forecasting model; hydrological extremes; water adaptation systems
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MDPI and ACS Style

de la Fuente, A.; Meruane, V.; Meruane, C. Hydrological Early Warning System Based on a Deep Learning Runoff Model Coupled with a Meteorological Forecast. Water 2019, 11, 1808. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091808

AMA Style

de la Fuente A, Meruane V, Meruane C. Hydrological Early Warning System Based on a Deep Learning Runoff Model Coupled with a Meteorological Forecast. Water. 2019; 11(9):1808. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091808

Chicago/Turabian Style

de la Fuente, Alberto, Viviana Meruane, and Carolina Meruane. 2019. "Hydrological Early Warning System Based on a Deep Learning Runoff Model Coupled with a Meteorological Forecast" Water 11, no. 9: 1808. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091808

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