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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOURCE WATER QUALITY EFFECTS OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND LAND USE ON POORLY DRAINED LAND

Location: Soil Drainage Research

Title: Measurement errors in tipping bucket rain gauges under different rainfall intensities and their implication to hydrologic models

Authors
item Shedekar, Vinayak -
item King, Kevin
item Brown, Larry -
item Fausey, Norman
item Heckel, Maryjane -
item Harmel, Daren

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 28, 2009
Publication Date: June 21, 2009
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/40802
Citation: Shedekar, V., King, K.W., Brown, L., Fausey, N.R., Heckel, M., Harmel, R.D. 2009. Measurement errors in tipping bucket rain gauges under different rainfall intensities and their implication to hydrologic models. ASABE Annual International Meeting, June 21-24, 2009, Reno, Nevada. Paper #97368.

Technical Abstract: Measurements from tipping bucket rain gauges (TBRs) consist of systematic and random errors as an effect of external factors, such as mechanical limitations, wind effects, evaporation losses, and rainfall intensity. Two different models of TBRs, viz. ISCO-674 and TR-525 (TexasInstr., Inc.), being used in Ohio's Upper Big Walnut Creek Watershed, were calibrated in the lab to quantify measurement errors at different rainfall intensities. A range of rainfall intensities (12.5 to 230 mm-hr-1) was simulated for each TBR using a pre-calibrated peristaltic pump mechanism. The instantaneous and cumulative values of simulated rainfall were measured at 1-min intervals. Actual and measured rainfall at each intensity was compared. Both TBR measurements showed a significant deviation from the actual rainfall rates with increasing underestimation error at higher intensities (>50.8 mm-hr-1) and slight overestimation at lower intensities (<25.4 mm-hr-1). Model TR-525 showed an earlier and larger deviation (up to 20%) as compared to ISCO-674 (up to 13%) over the range of intensities. These findings are being used to correct precipitation data being collected by both TBRs and test the effect of these corrections on the outputs of hydrologic models, such as SWAT and DRAINMOD.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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