Uncertainty analysis of first order decay model

Peter R. Jaffe, Frank L. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Relationships to estimate confidence intervals for linear regressions were presented to determine the uncertainty of estimates obtained from first-order models, when the concentration in grab samples of the parameter studied has a lognormal distribution. This uncertainty is a function of the number of samples on which the model was calibrated, the locations where these samples were taken, and the variance of the grab sample. Also shown is an estimate of the probability that the true value of the predicted parameter lies above a given critical value, even though its estimate is below that value. This probability can be used as a criterion to determine if the model’s results are adequate for the modeler’s purposes, or to estimate how many additional samples are required to reduce this probability to levels that are acceptable, or both. As a consequence, sampling, modeling, and decision making based on the model’s output is presented as one cycle within an iterative process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1984
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Environmental Science


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