This paper compares the accuracy of selected techniques for estimating streamflow during ice-affected periods. The techniques are classified into two categories - subjective and analytical - depending on the degree of judgment required. Discharge measurements have been made at three streamflow-gauging sites in Iowa during the 1987-88 winter and used to established a baseline streamflow record for each site. Using data based on a simulated six-week field-tip schedule, selected techniques are used to estimate discharge during the ice-affected periods. For the subjective techniques, three hydrographers have independently compiled each record. Three measures of performance are used to compare the estimated streamflow records with the baseline streamflow records: the average discharge for the ice-affected period, and the mean and standard deviation of the daily errors. Based on average ranks for three performance measures and the three sites, the analytical and subjective techniques are essentially comparable. For two of the three sites, Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance detects significant differences among the three hydrographers for the subjective methods, indicating that the subjective techniques are less consistent than the analytical techniques. The results suggest analytical techniques may be viable tools for estimating discharge during periods of ice effect, and should be developed further and evaluated for sites across the United States.
Additional publication details
Accuracy of selected techniques for estimating ice-affected streamflow