Seasonal and annual maximum streamflow forecasting using climate information: application to the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River basin, China

TitleSeasonal and annual maximum streamflow forecasting using climate information: application to the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River basin, China
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKWON, HYUN-HAN, Brown Casey, XU KAIQIN, and LALL UPMANU
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Volume54
Pagination582 - 595
Date Published6/2009
KeywordsASIAN SUMMER MONSOON, CHANGING CLIMATE, CLUSTER-ANALYSIS, ENSO, hierarchical Bayesian model, MULTIVARIATE, NINO SOUTHERN-OSCILLATION, PART I, peak flow forecast, precipitation, reservoir operations, seasonal flow forecast, Three Gorges Dam, TYPHOON TRACKS, VARIABILITY, Yangtze River (Changjiang)
Abstract

This paper explores the potential for seasonal prediction of hydrological variables that are potentially useful for reservoir operation of the Three Gorges Dam, China. The seasonal flow of the primary inflow season and the peak annual flow are investigated at Yichang hydrological station, a proxy for inflows to the Three Gorges Dam. Building on literature and diagnostic results, a prediction model is constructed using sea-surface temperatures and upland snow cover available one season ahead of the prediction period. A hierarchical Bayesian approach is used to estimate uncertainty in the parameters of the prediction model and to propagate these uncertainties to the predictand. The results show skill for both the seasonal flow and the peak annual flow. The peak annual flow model is then used to estimate a design flood (50-year flood or 2% exceedence probability) on a year-to-year basis. The results demonstrate the inter-annual variability in flood risk. The predictability of both the seasonal total inflow and the peak annual flow ( or a design flood volume) offers potential for adaptive management of the Three Gorges Dam reservoir through modification of the operating policy in accordance with the year-to-year changes in these variables.