Assessing the uncertainty associated with intermittent rainfall fields
Pardo-Iguzquiza, P., Grimes, D. I. F. and Teo, C. K. (2006) Assessing the uncertainty associated with intermittent rainfall fields. Water Resources Research, 42 (1). ISSN 0043-1397
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2004WR003740
 In many practical situations where spatial rainfall estimates are needed, rainfall occurs as a spatially intermittent phenomenon. An efficient geostatistical method for rainfall estimation in the case of intermittency has previously been published and comprises the estimation of two independent components: a binary random function for modeling the intermittency and a continuous random function that models the rainfall inside the rainy areas. The final rainfall estimates are obtained as the product of the estimates of these two random functions. However the published approach does not contain a method for estimation of uncertainties. The contribution of this paper is the presentation of the indicator maximum likelihood estimator from which the local conditional distribution of the rainfall value at any location may be derived using an ensemble approach. From the conditional distribution, representations of uncertainty such as the estimation variance and confidence intervals can be obtained. An approximation to the variance can be calculated more simply by assuming rainfall intensity is independent of location within the rainy area. The methodology has been validated using simulated and real rainfall data sets. The results of these case studies show good agreement between predicted uncertainties and measured errors obtained from the validation data.