Stage and Time rating shifts - concept investigation

USGS calculation of flow

The calculation of flow is primarily based on the common approach of passing the time series record though a 'flow rating', the applicable rating table may change over the period of record – a family of rating tables.The trigger for changing rating tables can be due to many things, primarily a physical change on site has caused a change in the level/flow relationship.

In the period between rating changes there is often a need to 'tweak' the rating relationship by small amounts. There may be one or many tweaks of the relationship applied in the course of the ratings application period. There is a need to interpolate the tweaking between tweak definition points.

Tweaking is equivalent to the release of a new rating table with very minor change and a phased change between the rating tables.

A tweak definition may result from a single gauging observation that deviates from the existing rating more than the allowed amount.

In practice the tweaking is implemented by adjusting the incoming stage record rather that adjusting the rating. The process is to adjust the observed river level (called shifting) to the effective river level. Thus a rating shift is not a shift on the rating, it is a shift on the gage data before being passed through the rating.

The diagram below illustrates how a rating table is connected to a family of shift tables, the rating may have zero or many shift tables.


Flow calculation process

Step Action
1. Raw gage height
  Datum and quality correction
2. Computed gage height
  Determine gage height adjustment (stage shift) to be applied to the computed gage height
3. Effective stage - shifted gage height
  Look up flow rating
4. Computed flow
- Need input on best practice USGS shift terminology

The diagram below shows how the effective stage is calulated using the raw gage reading and the stage shift tables.


WMO shift documentation excerpts

Taken from : WMO Manual on stream gauging - Volume II Computation of discharge - Rating shifts

Shift adjustments varied by time only

"The simplest way to vary shift adjustments between discharge measurements is by time interpolation. Time-varied shifts are usually used for periods when stage does not change very much, and the shifting control is affected by a gradual change due to scour or fill. For example, such a condition might be caused by gradual accumulation of falling leaves on a section control."
shift adjustments varied by stage only

"The use of a stage-varied-shift adjustment is equivalent to drawing a new numbered rating curve and may be preferable for temporary rating changes. The shift-variation diagrams shown in Figure II.6.3 are typical stage-only diagrams, as escribed in a previous section. They are applied over a period of time by manually or automatically determining the shift for each stage value for which discharge is computed during the specified time period."
WMO documentation of applying stage and time shifts

"The interpolation procedure is described in the following step-by-step example:

(a) Two shift curves, numbered 001 and 002 for example, are defined graphically for use at dates and times, t1 and t2, respectively;

(b) An interpolated shift, Sn, is required for unit value, Gn, at an intermediate date and time, tn;

(c) The electronic processing system computes the shifts, S1 and S2, corresponding to the unit

value, Gn, from each of the shift curves, 001 and 002, respectively;

(d) The electronic processing system performs an un-weighted, linear time interpolation of shifts

S1 at time t1, and S2 at time t2, to obtain the shift, Sn, at time tn;

(e) The same interpolation procedure is used to estimate shifts for all other unit values resulting between times, t1 and t2."

Consideration of WMO doco

After reading thoght the WMO doco, I am confident that the method described above is a compund of both the stage and time shift methods. Either method could be implmented in its own right or both methods implmented together thought a single mechanisim.I propose that the method coumented be implmented in the model.

WaterML2.P2 implications

There are there are several option on implementing the shift paradigm. The options change the location of the computation complexity of determining the shift applied. The complexity could be located at the data providers end or the data receivers end. The rules for determining the 'shift' amount are complex, there is a risk that if the calculation of the shift is passed onto the client, then the rules will not be well understood or correctly applied.

The numbers in the below optins refer to the data steps in the table Flow calculation process
Option 1: Provide calculated shift

Supply a WML2 time series of 3 and the rating tables.
Option 2: Receiver calculated shift

Supply a WML2 time series of 2 and the rating tables and shifts to enable calculation of 3
Option 3: Provide shifted tables

Supply rating tables with stage shifts applied, the user time interpolates between the tables. This is a pragmatic, low complexity approach suggest by Stu. It is acknowldged that the final number will not be teh same as usign the documented approach by may be adequate. Further investigation is required.

Useful references


A useful reference is the WMO manual of stream gauging 1044 Vol II section 6.11.1

A excerpt of the rating shift component of the document is attached to this page.

U.S. Geological Survey, Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, Book 3, Chapter A13

Section 1 Abstract, Introduction, Field data requirements, Datum and gage-height corrections, List of discharge measurements, Discharge ratings TWIKI copy

Section 2 Manual computation of gage-height record, Computation of discharge record TWIKI copy

Section 3 Computation of discharge record (cont'd) Station analysis, Progress documentation, Quality assurance, References cited, Glossary TWIKI copy

-- PaulSheahan - 20 Jun 2013
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Computation_of_Continuous_Records_of_Streamflow_a.pdfpdf Computation_of_Continuous_Records_of_Streamflow_a.pdf manage 2 MB 21 Jun 2013 - 14:52 PaulSheahan  
Computation_of_Continuous_Records_of_Streamflow_b.pdfpdf Computation_of_Continuous_Records_of_Streamflow_b.pdf manage 2 MB 21 Jun 2013 - 14:52 PaulSheahan  
Computation_of_Continuous_Records_of_Streamflow_c.pdfpdf Computation_of_Continuous_Records_of_Streamflow_c.pdf manage 1 MB 21 Jun 2013 - 14:52 PaulSheahan  
IMG_1055.JPGJPG IMG_1055.JPG manage 1 MB 20 Jun 2013 - 20:31 PaulSheahan  
IMG_1059.JPGJPG IMG_1059.JPG manage 1 MB 20 Jun 2013 - 20:31 PaulSheahan  
IMG_1060.JPGJPG IMG_1060.JPG manage 1 MB 20 Jun 2013 - 20:31 PaulSheahan  
Ratings_and_Shifts.vsdvsd Ratings_and_Shifts.vsd manage 1 MB 19 Sep 2013 - 23:21 PaulSheahan Visio file of diagram
Ratings_and_Shifts_-_relationship.jpgjpg Ratings_and_Shifts_-_relationship.jpg manage 100 K 24 Jun 2013 - 07:17 PaulSheahan Ratings - relationship to shift tables
Shift_interpolation.jpgjpg Shift_interpolation.jpg manage 101 K 24 Jun 2013 - 06:34 PaulSheahan USGS use of shift tables to determine effective stage.
WMO_Manual_on_stream_gauging_-_Computation_of_discharge_-_Rating_shifts.pdfpdf WMO_Manual_on_stream_gauging_-_Computation_of_discharge_-_Rating_shifts.pdf manage 6 MB 18 Sep 2013 - 23:34 PaulSheahan WMO Manual on stream gauging - Computation of discharge - Rating shifts.pdf
Topic revision: r8 - 21 Nov 2013, PaulSheahan
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