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.
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)
- Rating curves: Part 1 – correction for surface slope
- Rating curves: Part 2 – representation and approximation
- Generating stream rating curves from data
- Australian Rating Curves – Ray Maynard
- Rating curves, blind men, an Elephant and the Goldilocks Principle
- Stage-discharge rating curves – geophysics or religion?
- Extreme gauging – how to extend rating curves with confidence
- Rating curves workshop – International best practices explored in New Zealand
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)
Ward, B and Thomas, L. (2008) Does your rating curve hold water? The consequences of rating curve errors. ANCOLD Conference (link)