EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Correction of River Bathymetry Parameters Using the Stage–Discharge Rating Curve

Xudong Zhou1, Menaka Revel1, Prakat Modi2, Takuto Shiozawa1, and Dai Yamazaki1
Xudong Zhou et al.
  • 1Global Hydrological Prediction Center, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2Department of Civil Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

River bathymetry is an important parameter for hydrodynamic modeling; however, it is associated with large bias because direct large-scale measurements are impractical. Recent studies adjusted river bathymetry data based on assessment of the difference between modeled and observed water surface elevation (WSE); however, model uncertainties in river discharge can lead to unintended errors in correcting river bathymetry. In this study, we propose a simple but robust and rational correction method of river bathymetry using the bias between stage–discharge rating curves rather than WSE time series data. The rating curve represents the internal characteristics of the river section, and is not sensitive to the instantaneous simulated discharge errors. Our results showed that the corrected river bathymetry are robust to bias in runoff as they converged among experiments driven by noise-corrupted or multimodel runoff forcing. Evaluation with the corrected river bathymetry against virtual truth demonstrated that the new method reduced 0.85–1.12 m of the absolute bias than the result from the conventional method. The deviation among the results reduced by more than 70% particularly in river sections with no backwater effects. Evaluation of the corrected river model output also showed the advantage of rating-curve bias correction, as the simulated WSE is reasonably better only with better runoff and it does not conceal errors in runoff inputs. Given the difficulty of eliminating discharge errors and bias in runoff, a method for correcting river bathymetry that is free from discharge and runoff errors is important for improving hydrodynamic modeling.

How to cite: Zhou, X., Revel, M., Modi, P., Shiozawa, T., and Yamazaki, D.: Correction of River Bathymetry Parameters Using the Stage–Discharge Rating Curve, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7519,, 2023.