Sensitivity of Distributed Hydrologic Simulations to Ground and Satellite Based Rainfall Products

Chintalapudi, Singaiah
Sharif, Hatim O.
Xie, Hongjie
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In this study, seven precipitation products (rain gauges, NEXRAD MPE, PERSIANN 0.25 degree, PERSIANN CCS-3hr, PERSIANN CCS-1hr, TRMM 3B42V7, and CMORPH) were used to force a physically-based distributed hydrologic model. The model was driven by these products to simulate the hydrologic response of a 1232 km2 watershed in the Guadalupe River basin, Texas. Storm events in 2007 were used to analyze the precipitation products. Comparison with rain gauge observations reveals that there were significant biases in the satellite rainfall products and large variations in the estimated amounts. The radar basin average precipitation compared very well with the rain gauge product while the gauge-adjusted TRMM 3B42V7 precipitation compared best with observed rainfall among all satellite precipitation products. The NEXRAD MPE simulated streamflows matched the observed ones the best yielding the highest Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency correlation coefficient values for both the July and August 2007 events. Simulations driven by TRMM 3B42V7 matched the observed streamflow better than other satellite products for both events. The PERSIANN coarse resolution product yielded better runoff results than the higher resolution product. The study reveals that satellite rainfall products are viable alternatives when rain gauge or ground radar observations are sparse or non-existent.

satellite rainfall, NEXRAD, runoff, streamflow, GSSHA
Water 6 (5): 1221-1245 (2014)
Earth and Planetary Sciences
Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Construction Management