Application of recursive digital filter (RDF) methods for baseflow separation: study at Brantas watershed

Indarto Indarto, Elida Novita, Sri Wahyuningsih, Nur Defitri Herlinda, Entin Hidayah


Baseflow is an important component affecting the availability of water in the river during the dry season. Availability of water in the dry season is useful for water resources management. This research aims to test and to compare six recursive digital filters (RDF) methods for calculating baseflow and baseflow index. This research was conducted in Brantas Watershed. Two outlets (sub-watersheds) located at Kertosono and Ploso were used.  Daily discharge from 1996 to 2015 of the two outlets above was used as main input for this study. While rainfall data were used to determine the calibration period. The sequence procedures of this research, consist of: (1) inventory of daily discharge and rainfall data, (2) data processing, (3) calibration, (4) validation, and (5) evaluation of models’ performances.  Six (6) methods of baseflow separation based on recursive digital filters were evaluated. The calibration process was carried out for periods 1996 to 2005.  The periods from July to September was assumed to be the peak of the dry season and then selected for calibration process.  The parameter values were calibrated using the data from dry season for each year. Furthermore, the average value of parameters obtained from calibration period then used to separate baseflow in validation process (periods 2006 to 2015). The result of separation both in calibration and validation are then evaluated using root mean square error (RMSE), coefficient of determination (R²) and FDC. This research shows that the Lyne-Hollick and EWMA filters perform better than other methods. In Brantas Kertosono sub-watershed, the optimal parameter value for Lyne Hollick algoritmh (αly) = 0.995 dan for EWMA filter (αew) = 0.003 and in Brantas Ploso sub-watershed (αly ) = 0.99 dan (αew) = 0.003.


Boughton WC. 1993. A hydrograph-based model for estimating water yield of ungauged catchments, Institute of Engineers Australia National Conference. Publ. 93(14): 317-324.

Brodie R and Hostetler S. 2007. An overview of tools for assessing groundwater-surface water connectivity. Canberra: Bureau of Rural Sciences.

Chapman TG and Maxwell AI. 1996. Baseflow separation – comparison of numerical methods with tracer experiments. Institute Engineers Australia National Conference. Publ. 96(5): 539-545.

Chapman TG. 1991. Comment on evaluation of automated techniques for base flow and recession analyses, by RJ Nathan and TA McMahon. Water Resources Research. 27(7), 1783-1784.

Chapman TG. 1999. A Comparison Of Algorithms For Streamflow Recession And Baseflow Separation Hydrological Processes. Australia: Institute of Engineers Australia.

Eckhardt K. 2008. A comparison of base flow indices, which were calculated with seven different base flow separation methods. J. Hydrol. 352: 168–173.

Furey PR. 2003. Tests of two physically based filters for base flow separation. Water Resources Research 39(10). doi:10.1029/2002WR001621.

Gonzales AL, Nonner J, Heijkers J, and Uhlenbrook S. 2009. Comparison of different base flow separation methods in a lowland Catchment. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 13, 2055–2068.

Gregor M. 2010. Hydrooffice User Manual version. 2012.

Gregor M. 2012. Hydrooffice User Manual version. 2012.

Gregor M. 2015. Hydrooffice User Manual version. 2015.

Indarto I, Elida N, and Sri W. 2015. Preliminary Study on Baseflow Separation at Watersheds in East Java Regions. Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia, 9:538-550. DOI: 10.1016/j.aaspro.2016.02.174.

Indarto, Suhardjo W, Agung PS. 2013. Physical properties and flow Duration Curves of 15 Watresheds in East Java. Agritech. 33(4).

Indarto. 2010. Hidrologi – Dasar Teori Dan Contoh Aplikasi Model Hidrologi ( ISBN: 978–979–010–579-9). PT Bumi Aksara.

Indarto. 2016. Hidrologi – Metode Analisis dan tool untuk interpretasi Hidrograf Aliran Sungai. PT Bumi Aksara.

Institute of Hydrology. 1980. Low flow studies. Res. Rep. 1. Institute of Hydrology. UK:Wallingford.

Jakeman AJ dan Hornberger GM. 1993. How Much Complexity Is Warranted in a Rainfall-Runoff Model? Water Resources Research. 29(8): 2637–2649.

Linsley RK, Kohler MA, Paulhus JLH, Wallace JS. 1958. Hydrology for engineers. New York: McGraw Hill.

Lyne V and Hollick M. 1979. Stochastic time-variable rainfall-runoff modelling. Institute of Engineers Australia National Conference. Publ. 79(10): 89-93.

Marsh N. 2004. Time Series Analysis Module: River Analysis Package, Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology. Melbourne Australia: Monash University.

Mau DP, and Winter TC. 1997. Estimating ground-water recharge from streamflow hydrographs for a small mountain watershed in a temperate humid climate. New Hampshire, USA. Ground Water. 35(2): 291-304.

Mulla DI dan Addiscott TM. 1999. Validation Approaches For Field-, Basin-, And Regional Scale Water Quality Models. In: Assessment Of Non-Point Source Pollution In The Vadose Zone. Geophysical Monograph 108. Washington DC: Amirican Geophysical Union.

Murphy R, Graszkiewicz , Hill P, Neal B, Nathan R, Ladson T. 2009. Australian rainfall and runoff revison. Project 7: baseflow for catchment simulation. AR&R Report Number, P7/S1/004, ISBN: 978-085825-9218, Engineers Australia, Engineering House 11, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

Nathan RJ and McMahon TA. 1990b. Estimating low flow characteristics in ungauged catchments. Water Res. Manage. 6: 85-100.

Nathan RJ, and McMahon TA. 1990a. Evaluation of automated techniques for baseflow and recession analysis. Water Resources Publications. 26(7):1465-1473.

Pettyjohn WA and Henning R. 1979. Preliminary estimate of ground-water recharge rates, related streamflow and water quality in Ohio, Ohio State University Water Resources Centre Project Completion Report No 552.

Priyanto ID. 2015. Studi Baseflow Menggunakan Perbandingan Metode Grafis Dan Metode Rdf (Recursive Digital Filter) (Studi Kasus Di Wilayah Upt Psda Pasuruan). URI:

Purnamasaria I, H Pawitan, F Renggono. 2017. Analysis of Meteorological Drought Propagation to Hydrological Drought through Larona Watershade. Jurnal Pengelolaan Sumberdaya Alam dan Lingkungan. 7(2): 163-171.

Puspitasari ND. 2015. Analisis Baseflow Menggunakan Metode Grafis Dan Metode Rdf (Recursive Digital Filter) (Studi Kasus Di Wilayah Upt Psda Bondowoso). URI: Date: 2015-12-01.

Ratnasari D. 2015. Study baseflow menggunakan perbandingan 6 metode RDF (Recursive Digital Filter) (Studi Kasus di DAS Wilayah UPT PSDA Bondowoso. URI: Date: 2016-01-28.

Smakhtin VU. 2001a. Estimating continuous monthly baseflow time series and their possible applications in the context of the ecological reserve. Water SA. 27(2): 213-217.

Smakhtin VU. 2001b. Low flow hydrology: a review. J Hydrology. 240: 147-186.

Tallaksen LM, Vvan Lanen HAJ. van eds. 2004. Hydrological Drought – Processes and Estimation Methods for Streamflow and Groundwater. Developments in Water Science, 48. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science B.V, ISBN 0-444-51688-3, pp. 579.

Tallaksen LM. 1995. A review of baseflow recession analysis. Journal of Hydrology. 165: 349-370.

Tularam GA dan Ilahee M. 2008. Exponential Smoothing Method of Base Flow Separation And Its Impact on Continuous Loss Estimates. American Journal of Environmental Sciences. 4(2): 136-138.

Yetti E, D Soedharma, S Haryadi. 2017. Evaluation of Rivers Water Quality at Malang Upper Brantas River Basin Area in Relation to Land Use System and Its Surroundings People Activity. Jurnal Pengelolaan Sumberdaya Alam dan Lingkungan. 7(2): 98-106.

Zumaa DS, Murtilaksono K, Suharnoto Y. 2017. Analysis of Rainfall and Discharge with SWAT Model Using the Moving Average Method in Ciliwung Hulu Watershed. Jurnal Pengelolaan Sumberdaya Alam dan Lingkungan. 7(2): 98-106.


Indarto Indarto (Primary Contact)
Elida Novita
Sri Wahyuningsih
Nur Defitri Herlinda
Entin Hidayah
Author Biography

Indarto Indarto, PS TEP FTP UNEJ

IndartoI., NovitaE., WahyuningsihS., HerlindaN. D. and HidayahE. (2019) “Application of recursive digital filter (RDF) methods for baseflow separation: study at Brantas watershed”, Jurnal Pengelolaan Sumberdaya Alam dan Lingkungan (Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Management). Bogor, ID, 9(3), pp. 626-640. doi: 10.29244/jpsl.9.3.626-640.

Article Details