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Open AccessArticle

Short-Term River Flow Forecasting Framework and Its Application in Cold Climatic Regions

1
Department of Civil Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
2
Department of Geomatics Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
3
Resource Stewardship Division, Alberta Environment and Parks, University Research Park, Calgary, AB T2L 2K8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 3049; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113049
Received: 7 September 2020 / Revised: 28 October 2020 / Accepted: 29 October 2020 / Published: 30 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue River Flow in Cold Climate Environments)
Catchments located in cold weather regions are highly influenced by the natural seasonality that dictates all hydrological processes. This represents a challenge in the development of river flow forecasting models, which often require complex software that use multiple explanatory variables and a large amount of data to forecast such seasonality. The Athabasca River Basin (ARB) in Alberta, Canada, receives no or very little rainfall and snowmelt during the winter and an abundant rainfall–runoff and snowmelt during the spring/summer. Using the ARB as a case study, this paper proposes a novel simplistic method for short-term (i.e., 6 days) river flow forecasting in cold regions and compares existing hydrological modelling techniques to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve a good level of accuracy using simple modelling. In particular, the performance of a regression model (RM), base difference model (BDM), and the newly developed flow difference model (FDM) were evaluated and compared. The results showed that the FDM could accurately forecast river flow (ENS = 0.95) using limited data inputs and calibration parameters. Moreover, the newly proposed FDM had similar performance to artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, demonstrating the capability of simplistic methods to forecast river flow while bypassing the fundamental processes that govern the natural annual river cycle. View Full-Text
Keywords: Athabasca River; cold weather regions; predictive hydrology; simplistic environmental modelling; water resources Athabasca River; cold weather regions; predictive hydrology; simplistic environmental modelling; water resources
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MDPI and ACS Style

Belvederesi, C.; Dominic, J.A.; Hassan, Q.K.; Gupta, A.; Achari, G. Short-Term River Flow Forecasting Framework and Its Application in Cold Climatic Regions. Water 2020, 12, 3049. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113049

AMA Style

Belvederesi C, Dominic JA, Hassan QK, Gupta A, Achari G. Short-Term River Flow Forecasting Framework and Its Application in Cold Climatic Regions. Water. 2020; 12(11):3049. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113049

Chicago/Turabian Style

Belvederesi, Chiara; Dominic, John A.; Hassan, Quazi K.; Gupta, Anil; Achari, Gopal. 2020. "Short-Term River Flow Forecasting Framework and Its Application in Cold Climatic Regions" Water 12, no. 11: 3049. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113049

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