Stochastic observation error and uncertainty in water quality evaluation Academic Article uri icon


  • When evaluating water quality, the influence of physical weight of the observed index is normally taken into account, but the influence of stochastic observation error (SOE) is not adequately considered. Using Monte Carlo simulation, combined with Shannon entropy, the Principle of Maximum Entropy (POME) and Tsallis entropy, this study investigates the influence of stochastic observation error (SOE) for two cases of the observed index: small observation error and large observation error. Randomness and fuzziness represent two types of uncertainties that are deemed significant and should be considered simultaneously when developing or evaluating water quality models. To that end, three models are employed here: two of the models, named as model I and model II, consider both the fuzziness and randomness, and another model, considers only fuzziness. The results from three representative lakes in China show that for all three models, the influence of stochastic observation error (SOE) on water quality evaluation can be significant irrespective of whether the water quality index has a small observation error or a large observation error. Furthermore, when there is a significant difference in the accuracy of observations, the influence of stochastic observation error (SOE) on water quality evaluation increases. The water quality index whose SOE is minimum determines the results of evaluation. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, D., Singh, V. P., Zhu, Y., & Wu, J.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Dong||Singh, Vijay P||Zhu, Yuan-sheng||Wu, Ji-chun

publication date

  • October 2009