An extended Kalman filter was developed to automate the real-time estimation of ice-affected streamflow on the basis of routine measurements of stream stage and air temperature and on the relation between stage and streamflow during open-water (ice-free) conditions. The filter accommodates three dynamic modes of ice effects: sudden formation/ablation, stable ice conditions, and eventual elimination. The utility of the filter was evaluated by applying it to historical data from two long-term streamflow-gauging stations, St. John River at Dickey, Maine and Platte River at North Bend, Nebr. Results indicate that the filter was stable and that parameters converged for both stations, producing streamflow estimates that are highly correlated with published values. For the Maine station, logarithms of estimated streamflows are within 8% of the logarithms of published values 87.2% of the time during periods of ice effects and within 15% 96.6% of the time. Similarly, for the Nebraska station, logarithms of estimated streamflows are within 8% of the logarithms of published values 90.7% of the time and within 15% 97.7% of the time. In addition, the correlation between temporal updates and published streamflows on days of direct measurements at the Maine station was 0.777 and 0.998 for ice-affected and open-water periods, respectively; for the Nebraska station, corresponding correlations were 0.864 and 0.997.
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Estimating ice-affected streamflow by extended Kalman filtering