Rating curve resources

Hydrologists are often interested in the highest flows and that means we are using the upper limits of rating tables where uncertainty is large.

Below are some links that explain how rating curves are developed and potential issues with current practice.

Rating Curves: National Environmental Monitoring Standards (New Zealand)

Fenton, J. D. and Keller, R. J. (2001) The calculation of streamflow from measurements of stage.  Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology.  Technical report 01/6.  (link)


  • How streamflow is measured
  • Buchanan, T. J. and Somers, W. P. (1969) Discharge measurements at gaging stations.  U. S. Geological Survey Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations Book 3, Chapter A8, pp. 65. (link)

John Fenton’s papers

The NZ Hydrological Society Ratings Workshop 2016

Stu Hamilton’s blog at Aquatic Informatics

Stu Hamilton’s Whitepaper: 5 Best Practices for Building Better Stage-Discharge Rating Curves. 

Journal articles

Van Eerdenbrugh, K., Van Hoey, S. and Verhoest, N. E. C. (2016) Identification of temporal consistency in rating curve data: Bidirectional Reach (BReach). Water Resources Research 52(8):6277-6296. (link)

Steinbakk, G. H., Thorarinsdottir, T. L., Reitan, T., Schlichting, L., Holleland, S. and Engeland, K. (2016) Propagation of rating curve uncertainty in design flood estimation.  Water Resources Research. DOI: 0.1002/2015WR018516  (link).

Kuczera, G. (1996) Correlated rating curve error in flood frequency inference.  Water Resources Research.  32(7):2119-2127 (link)

Mansanarez, V., Le Coz, J., Renard, B., Lang, M., Pierrefeu, G. and Vauchel, P. (2016) Bayesian analysis of stage-fall-discharge rating curves and their uncertainties.  Water Resources Research. DOI: 10.1002/2016WR018916 (link)

Tomkins, K. M. (2012) Uncertainty in streamflow rating curves: methods, controls and consequences.  Hydrological Processes 28(3):464-481. (link)

Other articles

Ward, B and Thomas, L. (2008) Does your rating curve hold water? The consequences of rating curve errors. ANCOLD Conference (link)

One thought on “Rating curve resources

  1. Pingback: Munging rating tables | tonyladson

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