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A brief history of information and disinformation in hydrological data and the impact on the evaluation of hydrological models

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/04/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Hydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number5
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)519-527
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date20/03/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper considers what we know about the potential for disinformation in hydrological data when used for the evaluation of hydrological models. This will generally arise from epistemic uncertainties associated with hydrological observations, particularly from nonstationary or extrapolated rating curves for discharges, and poor rainfall and snowmelt information when interpolated over basin areas. Approaches based on information theory are not well suited to consideration of such epistemic uncertainties in model evaluation and an alternative approach based on setting limits of acceptability independent of any model runs is suggested. This allows for both the rejection of all models tried, and for acceptability of models across different model structures and parameter sets. The paper concludes with some suggestions for future research on defining disinformative data for both point and spatial observables, studying model failures, and defining new observations with a view to having the greatest impact on reducing model uncertainties.