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Monthly Runoff Estimation Using Artificial Neural Networks

YAZDANI M., SAGHAFIAN B., MAHDIAN M., SOLTANI KOPAEI S. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, Vol. 11, No. 3, PP. 355-362.


Runoff estimation is one of the main challenges encountered in water and watershed
management. Spatial and temporal changes of factors which influence runoff due to heterogeneity
of the basins explain the complicacy of relations. Artificial Neural Network
(ANN) is one of the intelligence techniques which is flexible and doesn’t call for any much
physically complex processes. These networks can recognize the relation between input
and output. In this study ANN model was employed for runoff estimation in Plaszjan River
basin in the central part of Iran. The models used are Multiple Perceptron (MLP) and
Recurrent Neural Network (RNN). Inputs include data obtained from 5 rain gauges as
well as from 2 temperature recording gauges, the output of the model being the monthly
flow in Eskandari Hydrometric Station. Preprocessing of the data as well as the sensitivity
analysis of the model were carried out. Different topologies of Neural Networks were created
with change in input layers, nodes as well as in the hidden layer. The best architecture
was found as 7.4.1. Recurrent Neural Network led to better results than Multilayer
Perceptron Network. Also results indicated that ANN is an appropriate technique for
monthly runoff estimation in the selected basin with these networks being also of the capability
to show basin response to rainfall events.

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