A bivariate mixed distribution with a heavy-tailed component and its application to single-site daily rainfall simulation
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This paper presents an improved bivariate mixed distribution, which is capable of modeling the dependence of daily rainfall from two distinct sources (e.g., rainfall from two stations, two consecutive days, or two instruments such as satellite and rain gauge). The distribution couples an existing framework for building a bivariate mixed distribution, the theory of copulae and a hybrid marginal distribution. Contributions of the improved distribution are twofold. One is the appropriate selection of the bivariate dependence structure from a wider admissible choice (10 candidate copula families). The other is the introduction of a marginal distribution capable of better representing low to moderate values as well as extremes of daily rainfall. Among several applications of the improved distribution, particularly presented here is its utility for single-site daily rainfall simulation. Rather than simulating rainfall occurrences and amounts separately, the developed generator unifies the two processes by generalizing daily rainfall as a Markov process with autocorrelation described by the improved bivariate mixed distribution. The generator is first tested on a sample station in Texas. Results reveal that the simulated and observed sequences are in good agreement with respect to essential characteristics. Then, extensive simulation experiments are carried out to compare the developed generator with three other alternative models: the conventional two-state Markov chain generator, the transition probability matrix model, and the semiparametric Markov chain model with kernel density estimation for rainfall amounts. Analyses establish that overall the developed generator is capable of reproducing characteristics of historical extreme rainfall events and is apt at extrapolating rare values beyond the upper range of available observed data. Moreover, it automatically captures the persistence of rainfall amounts on consecutive wet days in a relatively natural and easy way. Another interesting observation is that the recognized “overdispersion” problem in daily rainfall simulation ascribes more to the loss of rainfall extremes than the under-representation of first-order persistence. The developed generator appears to be a sound option for daily rainfall simulation, especially in particular hydrologic planning situations when rare rainfall events are of great importance.
Rain & rainfall
Simulation methods & models
Distribution (Probability theory)