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Journal Article

Optimal design of hydrometric station networks based on complex network analysis


Agarwal,  Ankit
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Marwan,  Norbert
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Maheswaran,  Rathinasamy
External Organizations;

Öztürk,  Ugur
External Organizations;


Kurths,  Jürgen
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Merz,  Bruno
External Organizations;

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Agarwal, A., Marwan, N., Maheswaran, R., Öztürk, U., Kurths, J., Merz, B. (2020): Optimal design of hydrometric station networks based on complex network analysis. - Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 24, 5, 2235-2251.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_24075
Hydrometric networks play a vital role in providing information for decision-making in water resource management. They should be set up optimally to provide as much information as possible that is as accurate as possible and, at the same time, be cost-effective. Although the design of hydrometric networks is a well-identified problem in hydrometeorology and has received considerable attention, there is still scope for further advancement. In this study, we use complex network analysis, defined as a collection of nodes interconnected by links, to propose a new measure that identifies critical nodes of station networks. The approach can support the design and redesign of hydrometric station networks. The science of complex networks is a relatively young field and has gained significant momentum over the last few years in different areas such as brain networks, social networks, technological networks, or climate networks. The identification of influential nodes in complex networks is an important field of research. We propose a new node-ranking measure – the weighted degree–betweenness (WDB) measure – to evaluate the importance of nodes in a network. It is compared to previously proposed measures used on synthetic sample networks and then applied to a real-world rain gauge network comprising 1229 stations across Germany to demonstrate its applicability. The proposed measure is evaluated using the decline rate of the network efficiency and the kriging error. The results suggest that WDB effectively quantifies the importance of rain gauges, although the benefits of the method need to be investigated in more detail.