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Fitting concentration and load rating curves with generalised linear models

Cox, N.J.; Warburton, J.; Armstrong, A.; Holliday, V.J.


A. Armstrong

V.J. Holliday


Generalized linear models may be used as a systematic and flexible alternative to existing practices in fitting sediment or solute concentration and load rating curves. Through widely available statistical software they offer a one-step solution to the common and awkward problem that a bias correction is needed when estimating total loads. In particular, using a logarithmic link function has an advantage over logarithmic transformation of concentration or load, as generalized linear models return predictions directly on the original measured scale; there is thus no need for back-transformation or subsequent correction factors. Example analyses are given for suspended sediment concentration for an upland stream in the Northern Pennines and for phosphorus load for the Illinois River. General criteria for choosing models and good practice in the use of figures of model merit and of residual plots are also discussed in detail.


Cox, N., Warburton, J., Armstrong, A., & Holliday, V. (2008). Fitting concentration and load rating curves with generalised linear models. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 33(1), 25-39.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 20, 2007
Publication Date 2008-01
Deposit Date Mar 19, 2008
Journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Print ISSN 0197-9337
Electronic ISSN 1096-9837
Publisher British Society for Geomorphology
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 33
Issue 1
Pages 25-39
Keywords Rivers, Rating curves, Suspended sediment, Dissolved load , Generalized linear models.