Disaggregation Procedures for Stochastic Hydrology based on Nonparametric Density Estimation

David G. Tarboton, Utah State University
Ashish Sharma
Upmanu Lall


Synthetic simulation of streamflow sequences is important for the analysis of water supply reliability. Disaggregation models are an important component of the stochastic streamflow generation methodology. They provide the ability to simulate multiseason and multisite streamflow sequences that preserve statistical properties at multiple timescales or space scales. In recent papers we have suggested the use of nonparametric methods for streamflow simulation. These methods provide the capability to model time series dependence without a priori assumptions as to the probability distribution of streamflow. They remain faithful to the data and can approximate linear or nonlinear dependence. In this paper we extend the use of nonparametric methods to disaggregation models. We show how a kernel density estimate of the joint distribution of disaggregate flow variables can form the basis for conditional simulation based on an input aggregate flow variable. This methodology preserves summability of the disaggregate flows to the input aggregate flow. We show through applications to synthetic data and streamflow from the San Juan River in New Mexico how this conditional simulation procedure preserves a variety of statistical attributes.