Articles | Volume 23, issue 9
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3603–3629, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-3603-2019
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3603–3629, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-3603-2019

Review article 04 Sep 2019

Review article | 04 Sep 2019

Error in hydraulic head and gradient time-series measurements: a quantitative appraisal

Gabriel C. Rau et al.

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Interactive discussion

Status: closed
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (further review by editor) (10 Jul 2019) by Brian Berkowitz
AR by Anna Wenzel on behalf of the Authors (23 Jul 2019)  Author's response
ED: Publish as is (26 Jul 2019) by Brian Berkowitz
AR by Gabriel Rau on behalf of the Authors (26 Jul 2019)  Author's response    Manuscript
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Short summary
The flow of water is often inferred from water levels and gradients whose measurements are considered trivial despite the many steps and complexity of the instruments involved. We systematically review the four measurement steps required and summarise the systematic errors. To determine the accuracy with which flow can be resolved, we quantify and propagate the random errors. Our results illustrate the limitations of current practice and provide concise recommendations to improve data quality.