Temporal rainfall disaggregation using a micro-canonical cascade model: possibilities to improve the autocorrelation

Müller-Thomy, Hannes

In urban hydrology rainfall time series of high resolution in time are crucial. Such time series with sufficient length can be generated through the disaggregation of daily data with a micro-canonical cascade model. A well-known problem of time series generated in this way is the inadequate representation of the autocorrelation. In this paper two cascade model modifications are analysed regarding their ability to improve the autocorrelation in disaggregated time series with 5 min resolution. Both modifications are based on a state-of-the-art reference cascade model (method A). In the first modification, a position dependency is introduced in the first disaggregation step (method B). In the second modification the position of a wet time step is redefined in addition by taking into account the disaggregated finer time steps of the previous time step instead of the previous time step itself (method C). Both modifications led to an improvement of the autocorrelation, especially the position redefinition (e.g. for lag-1 autocorrelation, relative errors of inline-formula−3 % (method B) and 1 % (method C) instead of inline-formula−4 % for method A). To ensure the conservation of a minimum rainfall amount in the wet time steps, the mimicry of a measurement device is simulated after the disaggregation process. Simulated annealing as a post-processing strategy was tested as an alternative as well as an addition to the modifications in methods B and C. For the resampling, a special focus was given to the conservation of the extreme rainfall values. Therefore, a universal extreme event definition was introduced to define extreme events a priori without knowing their occurrence in time or magnitude. The resampling algorithm is capable of improving the autocorrelation, independent of the previously applied cascade model variant (e.g. for lag-1 autocorrelation the relative error of inline-formula−4 % for method A is reduced to 0.9 %). Also, the improvement of the autocorrelation by the resampling was higher than by the choice of the cascade model modification. The best overall representation of the autocorrelation was achieved by method C in combination with the resampling algorithm. The study was carried out for 24 rain gauges in Lower Saxony, Germany.

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Müller-Thomy, Hannes: Temporal rainfall disaggregation using a micro-canonical cascade model: possibilities to improve the autocorrelation. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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