Stationarity: Wanted dead or alive?

Journal of the American Water Resources Association
By:  and 



Aligning engineering practice with natural process behavior would appear, on its face, to be a prudent and reasonable course of action. However, if we do not understand the long‐term characteristics of hydroclimatic processes, how does one find the prudent and reasonable course needed for water management? We consider this question in light of three aspects of existing and unresolved issues affecting hydroclimatic variability and statistical inference: Hurst‐Kolmogorov phenomena; the complications long‐term persistence introduces with respect to statistical understanding; and the dependence of process understanding on arbitrary sampling choices. These problems are not easily addressed. In such circumstances, humility may be more important than physics; a simple model with well‐understood flaws may be preferable to a sophisticated model whose correspondence to reality is uncertain.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Stationarity: Wanted dead or alive?
Series title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
DOI 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00542.x
Volume 47
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Office of Surface Water
Description 6 p.
First page 475
Last page 480
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