A Simple River Stage Forecasting Model for Sites WITHOUT Rating Curve

S. Barbetta, F. Melone, and T. Moramarco (Italy)


real-time forecasting, flood routing, lateral inflows.


A simple adaptive model for on-line stage forecasting is proposed for equipped river branches where significant lateral inflow contributions occur. The model is based on the Muskingum method and requires the estimation of five parameters if the downstream rating curve is unknown, otherwise only three parameters have to be determined. To take account of the lateral inflow variability, an adaptive on-line procedure is applied. Calibration and validation of the model were carried out through its application to different flood events observed in two equipped river reaches of the Upper Tiber basin in Central Italy characterized by a significant contributing drainage area. Under the hypothesis that at the downstream section the rating curve is unknown, the forecasted stage hydrographs were found in a good agreement with those observed at the same site. Errors in peak stage and time to peak along with the persistence coefficient values show that the model can be considered a practical tool for on line flood risk management.

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