Probability distribution functions for unit hydrographs with optimization using genetic algorithm
MetadataShow full item record
A unit hydrograph (UH) of a watershed may be viewed as the unit pulse response function of a linear system. In recent years, the use of probability distribution functions (pdfs) for determining a UH has received much attention. In this study, a nonlinear optimization model is developed to transmute a UH into a pdf. The potential of six popular pdfs, namely two-parameter gamma, two-parameter Gumbel, two-parameter log-normal, two-parameter normal, three-parameter Pearson distribution, and two-parameter Weibull is tested on data from the Lighvan catchment in Iran. The probability distribution parameters are determined using the nonlinear least squares optimization method in two ways: (1) optimization by programming in Mathematica; and (2) optimization by applying genetic algorithm. The results are compared with those obtained by the traditional linear least squares method. The results show comparable capability and performance of two nonlinear methods. The gamma and Pearson distributions are the most successful models in preserving the rising and recession limbs of the unit hydographs. The log-normal distribution has a high ability in predicting both the peak flow and time to peak of the unit hydrograph. The nonlinear optimization method does not outperform the linear least squares method in determining the UH (especially for excess rainfall of one pulse), but is comparable.
Least squares method
DepartmentBiological and Agricultural Engineering (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
Ghorban, Mohammad Ali; Singh, Vijay P.; Sivakumar, Bellie; Kashani, Mahsa H.; Atre, Atul Arvind; Asadi, Hakimeh (2015). Probability distribution functions for unit hydrographs with optimization using genetic algorithm. Available electronically from