In this study, a comparative evaluation of the statistical methods for daily streamflow estimation at ungauged basins is presented. The single donor station drainage area ratio (DAR) method, the multiple-donor stations drainage area ratio (MDAR) method, the inverse similarity weighted (ISW) method, and its variations with three different power parameters (1, 2, and 3) are applied to the two main subbasins of the Euphrates Basin in Turkey to estimate daily streamflow data. Each station in each basin is considered in turn as the target station where there are no streamflow data. The donor stations are selected based on the physical similarities between the donor and target stations. Then, streamflow data from the most physically similar donor station(s) is transferred to the target station using the statistical methods. In addition, the effect of data preprocessing on the estimation performance of the statistical methods is investigated. The preprocessing discussed in this study is streamflow data smoothing using the two-sided moving average (MA). Three statistical methods using the smoothed data by the MA, named as DAR-MA, MDAR-MA, and ISW-MA, are proposed. The estimation performance of the statistical methods is compared by using daily streamflow data with preprocessing and without preprocessing. The Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE), the ratio of the root mean square error (RMSE) to the standard deviation of the observed data (RSR), the percent bias (PBIAS), and the coefficient of determination (R2
) are used to evaluate the performance of the statistical methods. The results show that MDAR and ISW give improved performances compared to DAR to estimate daily streamflow for 7 out of 8 target stations in the Middle Euphrates Basin and for 4 out of 7 target stations in the Upper Euphrates Basin. Higher NSE values for both MDAR and ISW are mostly obtained with the three most physically similar donor stations in the Middle Euphrates Basin and with the two most physically similar donor stations in the Upper Euphrates Basin. The best statistical method for each target station exhibits slightly greater NSE when the smoothed data by the MA is used for all target stations in the Middle Euphrates Basin and for 6 out of 7 target stations in the Upper Euphrates Basin.
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