The absence of aggregated uncertainty measures restricts the assessment of uncertainty in hydrological simulation. In this work, a new composite uncertainty measure is developed to evaluate the complex behaviors of uncertainty existing in hydrological simulation. The composite uncertainty measure is constructed based on a framework, which includes three steps: (1) identification of behavioral measures by analyzing the pairwise correlations among different measures and removing high correlations; (2) weight assignment by means of a new hierarchical weight assembly (HWA) approach incorporating the intra-class and inter-class weights; (3) construction of a composite uncertainty measure through incorporating multiple properties of the measure matrix. The framework and the composite uncertainty measure are demonstrated by case studies in uncertainty assessment for hydrological simulation. Results indicate that the framework is efficient to generate a composite uncertainty index (denoted as CUI) and the new measure CUI is competent for uncertainty evaluation. Besides, the HWA approach performs well in weighting, which can characterize subjective and objective properties of the information matrix. The achievement of this work provides promising insights into the performance comparison of uncertainty analysis approaches, the selection of proper cut-off threshold in the GLUE method, and the guidance of reasonable uncertainty assessment in a range of environmental modelling.
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