Hydrologic Reference Stations

Frequently asked questions

The frequently asked questions below provide more information about the Hydrologic Reference Stations. If you have a query, please send us your feedback.


What is a hydrologic reference station?

A hydrologic reference station is a streamflow gauging station in an unregulated catchment with minimal land-use change. It has a high-quality streamflow record of greater than 30 years with frequently verified rating tables. The gauge has been well maintained.

Can I download data?

Streamflow data (daily, monthly, seasonal and annual), streamflow anomaly analysis and site information are available to download for each station on the snapshot, data explorer, trend explorer and data download pages.

How do I search for sites?

Visit the snapshot page to search for stations by river basin in a state or territory.

How were the stations selected for inclusion into the network?

The site selection guidelines are outlined in SKM (2010). The guidelines were adapted and applied to selected gauging stations from every river basin in Australia. Visit the Station Selection Guidelines page for more information.

Who do I contact for more information on the Australian Network of Hydrologic Reference Stations?

Please fill out our feedback form and your query will be forwarded to a member of the Extended Hydrological Prediction team for follow up.

What time-series data analysis method was used to identify trends and variability?

The Mann-Kendall test was used to detect trends in the time series and the DF CUSUM test was used to detect the year of any step change. The Rank-sum test was applied to detect changes in the median of the time-series before and after the step change. Please see the Analytical Methodology page for a summary of methods and their application. Further information is contained in Turner et al (2012).

Are these reference stations included in the High-quality climate site network?

The Australian Network of Hydrologic Reference Stations (HRS) and the High Quality Climate station network are two different networks. The HRS presented in this web portal focuses on the status and trends of streamflow across Australia. The high-quality climate network includes the status and trends of rainfall and temperature data across Australia.

How often is the web portal updated?

The web portal is monitored and any problems identified will be rectified. The reference stations included in the network will be reviewed and updated every two years, along with updated analyses of streamflow data. Data information for each gauging station will be updated as new information becomes available.

How were the streamflow data infilled?

The missing streamflow data was infilled using the GR4J model (Perrin et al, 2003) which is a daily, lumped, four parameter, conceptual soil moisture accounting rainfall-runoff model and a simple error correction procedure was adopted to ensure the initial and final estimated flows matched the adjacent observed values.

What does ML and GL mean?

These are measurement units used to describe volume; ML is mega litres, i.e. 1 million litres and is equivalent to 1000 m3. GL represents giga litres, i.e. 1 billion litres, and is equivalent to 10^6 m3.

How were the percentage of (streamflow) discharge volume above the maximum gauged discharge calculated?

The maximum gauged discharge is obtained from the stream gauging records used to derive the rating curves for each stream gauging station. The percentage of the total flow volume within the extrapolated range of the rating curve is denoted as the percentage of discharge above the maximum gauged discharge.

Creative Commons By Attribution logo
Unless otherwise noted, all material on this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence