Improved Dynamic System Response Curve Method for Real-Time Flood Forecast Updating

Wei Si, Hoshin V. Gupta, Weimin Bao, Peng Jiang, Wenzhuo Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The dynamic system response curve (DSRC) method has been shown to effectively use error feedback correction to obtain updated areal estimates of mean rainfall and thereby improve the accuracy of real-time flood forecasts. In this study, we address two main shortcomings of the existing method. First, ridge estimation is used to deal with ill-conditioning of the normal equation coefficient matrix when the method is applied to small basins, or when the length of updating rainfall series is short. Second, the effects of spatial heterogeneity of rainfall on rainfall error estimates are accounted for using a simple index. The improved performance of the method is demonstrated using both synthetic and real data studies. For smaller basins with relatively homogeneous spatial distributions of rainfall, the use of ridge regression provides more accurate and robust results. For larger-scale basins with significant spatial heterogeneity of rainfall, spatial rainfall error updating provides significant improvements. Overall, combining the two strategies results in the best performance for all cases, with the effects of ridge estimation and spatially distributed updating complementing each other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7493-7519
Number of pages27
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • improved DSRC
  • operational hydrology
  • rainfall heterogeneity
  • real-time flood forecasting
  • ridge estimation
  • spatially distributed rainfall error estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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