Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (2020-11-01)

Technical note: Calculation scripts for ensemble hydrograph separation

  • J. W. Kirchner,
  • J. W. Kirchner,
  • J. W. Kirchner,
  • J. L. A. Knapp

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 24
pp. 5539 – 5558


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Ensemble hydrograph separation has recently been proposed as a technique for using passive tracers to estimate catchment transit time distributions and new water fractions, introducing a powerful new tool for quantifying catchment behavior. However, the technical details of the necessary calculations may not be straightforward for many users to implement. We have therefore developed scripts that perform these calculations on two widely used platforms (MATLAB and R), to make these methods more accessible to the community. These scripts implement robust estimation techniques by default, making their results highly resistant to outliers. Here we briefly describe how these scripts work and offer advice on their use. We illustrate their potential and limitations using synthetic benchmark data.