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Generalized Additive Mixed Modelling of River Discharge in the Black Volta River

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: River discharge data offer a rich source ofinformation for reservoir management and flood control, if modelling canseparate out the effects of rainfall, land use, soil type, relief, and weatherconditions. In this paper, we model river discharge data from the Black VoltaRiver, using Generalised Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) with a space-timeinteraction represented via a tensor product of continuous time and discretespace. River discharge data from January 2000 to December 2009 for the fourgauge stations along the Black Volta River namely, Lawra, Chache, Bui and Bamboiwere obtained from the hydrological services departmentof Ghana and used for model fitting. Four GAMMs were explored, two withspace-time interactions and two without space-time interactions. The comparisonof the performance of the models with space-time interactions and those withoutspace-time interactions based on Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) andBayesian Information Criterion (BIC) suggests that in this application, theformer is better overall and in particular for modelling local variations.Further, a model with space and time main effects performed better comparedwith one without space and time main effects. After model selection, checkingand validation, there is evidence for increasing river discharge from the mostupstream gauge station to the most downstream gauge station for the studyperiod.

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