Developing the Remote Sensing-Gash Analytical Model for Estimating Vegetation Rainfall Interception at Very High Resolution: A Case Study in the Heihe River Basin
Accurately quantifying the vegetation rainfall interception at a high resolution is critical for rainfall-runoff modeling and flood forecasting, and is also essential for understanding its further impact on local, regional, and even global water cycle dynamics. In this study, the Remote Sensing-based Gash model (RS-Gash model) is developed based on a modified Gash model for interception loss estimation using remote sensing observations at the regional scale, and has been applied and validated in the upper reach of the Heihe River Basin of China for different types of vegetation. To eliminate the scale error and the effect of mixed pixels, the RS-Gash model is applied at a fine scale of 30 m with the high resolution vegetation area index retrieved by using the unified model of bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF-U) for the vegetation canopy. Field validation shows that the RMSE and R2 of the interception ratio are 3.7% and 0.9, respectively, indicating the model's strong stability and reliability at fine scale. The temporal variation of vegetation rainfall interception and its relationship with precipitation are further investigated. In summary, the RS-Gash model has demonstrated its effectiveness and reliability in estimating vegetation rainfall interception. When compared to the coarse resolution results, the application of this model at 30-m fine resolution is necessary to resolve the scaling issues as shown in this study.