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Keywords:

  • entropy;
  • velocity distribution;
  • Box-Cox transformation;
  • uncertainty

Abstract

The velocity field in a river flow cross-sectional area can be determined by applying entropy as done in 1978 by Chiu, who developed a two-dimensional model of flow velocity based on the knowledge of maximum velocity, umax, and the dimensionless entropic parameter, characteristic of the river site. This is appealing in the context of discharge monitoring, particularly for high floods, considering that umax occurs in the upper portion of flow area and can be easily sampled, unlike velocity in the lower portion of flow area. The simplified form of Chiu's entropy-based velocity model, proposed in 2004 by Moramarco et al., has been found to be reasonably accurate for determining mean flow velocity along each vertical sampled in the flow area, but no uncertainty analysis has been reported for this simplified entropy-based velocity model. This study, therefore, performed uncertainty analysis of the simplified model following a procedure proposed by Misirli et al. in 2003. The flow velocity measurements at the Rosciano River section along the Chiascio River, central Italy, carried out for a period spanning 20 years were used for this purpose. Results showed that the simplified entropy velocity model was able to provide satisfactory estimates of velocity profiles in the whole flow area and the 95% confidence bands for the computed estimated mean vertical velocity were quite representative of observed values. In addition, using these 95% confidence bands, it was possible to have an indication of the uncertainty in the determination of mean cross-sectional flow velocity as well. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.