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Predicting hourly-based flow discharge hydrographs from level data using genetic algorithms
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This study developed a genetic algorithm model to predict flow rates at sites receiving significant lateral inflow. It predicts flow rate at a downstream station from flow stage measured at upstream and downstream stations. For this purpose, it constructed two different models: First is analogous to the rating curve model (RCM) of Moramarco et al. [Moramarco, M., Barbetta, S., Melone, F., Singh, V.P., 2005. Relating local stage and remote discharge with significant lateral inflow. J. Hydrologic Eng., ASCE, 10(1)] and the second is based on summation of contributions from upstream station and lateral inflows using kinematic wave approximation. The model was applied to predict flow rates at three different gauging stations located on Tiber River, Upper Tiber River Basin, Italy. The model used average wave travel time for each river reach and obtained average set of parameter values for all the events observed in the same river reach. The GA model was calibrated, for each river reach and for each formulation, by three events and tested against three other events. The results showed that the GA model produced satisfactory results and it was superior over the most recently developed rating curve method. This study further analyzed the case where only water surface elevation data were used in the input vector to predict flow rates. The results showed that using elevation data produces satisfactory results. This has an implication for predicting flow rates at ungauged river sites since the surface elevation data can be obtained without needing the detailed geometry of river section which could change significantly during a flood.