Formal uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques enable hydrologic modelers to quantify the range of likely outcomes, likelihood of each outcome and an assessment of key contributors to output uncertainty. Such information is an improvement over standard deterministic point estimates for making engineering decisions under uncertainty. This paper provides an overview of various uncertainty analysis techniques that permit mapping model input uncertainty into uncertainty in model predictions. These include Monte Carlo simulation, first-order second-moment analysis, point estimate method, logic tree analysis and first-order reliability method. Also presented is an overview of sensitivity analysis techniques that permit identification of those parameters that control the uncertainty in model predictions. These include stepwise regression, mutual information (entropy) analysis and classification tree analysis. Two case studies are presented to demonstrate the practical applicability of these techniques. The paper also discusses a systematic framework for carrying out uncertainty and sensitivity analyses.
Research Article|July 01 2009
Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques for hydrologic modeling
Srikanta Mishra; Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques for hydrologic modeling. Journal of Hydroinformatics 1 July 2009; 11 (3-4): 282–296. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/hydro.2009.048
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