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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335460

Research Project: AGRICULTURAL LAND MANAGEMENT TO OPTIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY AND NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION AT FARM AND WATERSHED SCALES

Location: Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research

Title: Evaluation of satellite-derived rainfall data for multiple physio-climatic regions in the Santiago River Basin, Mexico

Author
item Avila-carrasco, Roberto - Autonomous University Of Zacatecas
item Junez-ferreira, Hugo - Autonomous University Of Zacatecas
item Gowda, Prasanna
item Steiner, Jean
item Moriasi, Daniel
item Starks, Patrick - Pat
item Gonzalez, T - Autonomous University Of Zacatecas
item Villalobos, A - Autonomous University Of Zacatecas
item Bautista-capetillo, C - Autonomous University Of Zacatecas

Submitted to: Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/11/2018
Publication Date: 7/6/2018
Citation: Avila-Carrasco, R., Junez-Ferreira, H.E., Gowda, P., Steiner, J.L., Moriasi, D.N., Starks, P.J., Gonzalez, T.J., Villalobos, A.A., Bautista-Capetillo, C. 2018. Evaluation of satellite-derived rainfall data for multiple physio-climatic regions in the Santiago River Basin, Mexico. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 54(5):1-19. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12672.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12672

Interpretive Summary: Rainfall is one of the main components of the hydrologic cycle linking atmosphere with land surface processes. Therefore, accurate measurements of spatially and temporally variable rainfall are necessary for water resources management. Moreover, conventional point measurements of rainfall may not be representative of desert and mountainous regions due to scarce and low density ground data. The TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite provides rainfall data at global scale. In this study, we evaluated monthly TRMM rainfall product (3B43 Version 7) for its accuracy over the Santiago River Basin located in the west-central part of Mexico using measured data. Numerous performance statistics were used to determine the accuracy of the monthly TRMM data. Results indicated that monthly TRMM rainfall product captured spatial variability in the rainfall over Santiago River Basin with higher accuracies associated with relatively wet summer and autumn periods. Therefore, monthly TRMM rainfall product may be useful to fill data gaps in un-gauzed areas and water resources management.

Technical Abstract: Assessment of water resources within hydrologic basins requires reliable, spatially distributed rainfall data. However, rainfall is a complex and dynamic phenomenon distributed unevenly over space and time. Therefore, rain gauge networks sometimes do not provide a proper and reliable representation given the limited scattered point measurement data over large areas. The TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite provides rainfall data at global scale. This space borne rainfall data has been extensively used for water resources management with good results around the world. Nevertheless TRMM data, which is an indirect measurement of rainfall, should be validated before its use. In this work, the validation was carried out by comparing monthly, seasonal, and annual precipitation using the monthly (3B43) Version 7 TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) data, with measured data from two sub-basins of the Santiago River Basin (SRB), located in west-central part of México: Rio Alto Santiago (RAS) and Rio Bajo Santiago (RBS). The TMPA products show a good agreement with the measured data in RBS and entire SRB, especially for relatively wet summer and autumn seasons. The validation results showed a strong regional dependence as a consequence of differences in the climate and topography as well as the distance from the coastal line. Overall, the TMPA data was found to perform adequately and provide quality information for a number of water resources management applications requiring monthly data, or to fill gaps at un-gauged areas.