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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347964

Research Project: Integrating Remote Sensing, Measurements and Modeling for Multi-Scale Assessment of Water Availability, Use, and Quality in Agroecosystems

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Title: Evaluating the applicability of four recent satellite–gauge combined precipitation estimates for extreme precipitation and streamflow predictions over the upper Yellow river basin in China

Author
item Su, J. - HOHAI UNIVERSITY
item Lu, H. - HOHAI UNIVERSITY
item Zhu, Y. - HOHAI UNIVERSITY
item Sadeghi, Ali

Submitted to: Remote Sensing
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/14/2017
Publication Date: 11/21/2017
Citation: Su, J., Lu, H., Zhu, Y., Sadeghi, A.M. 2017. Evaluating the applicability of four recent satellite–gauge combined precipitation estimates for extreme precipitation and streamflow predictions over the upper Yellow river basin in China. Remote Sensing. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111176.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111176

Interpretive Summary: This research evaluates the reliability of the application of four recent Satellite-Gauge Precipitation Estimates, namely: CRT; BLD; CDR; and 3B42 against gauge-based datasets from the Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA) for the Upper Yellow River Basin (UYRB) in China during 2001-2012 time period. We compared the satellites’ utility in estimating extreme precipitation and streamflow with simulations from the hydrologic model, Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC), which is known as a land surface hydrologic model. Overall, the four satellites captured the spatial distribution of the precipitation rather well, despite some under-estimation in the western mountains and over-estimation in the lower elevations of the southeast. Although none of the four satellites performed better than the observed CMA datasets, the BLD satellite performed well and was shown to be comparable with the CMA information over the UYRB region. The CRT and 3B42 satellites also demonstrated acceptable performance. The four satellites performed well for the 2005 flood events, but poorly for the 2012 flood event, which was one of the most historically large flood events in the UYRB region. Based on this study’s results, the use of the BLD satellite for predicting extreme flood events over the UYRB region is recommended, but the use of the other three satellites should be approached with caution.

Technical Abstract: This study aimed to statistically and hydrologically assess the performance of four latest and widely used satellite–gauge combined precipitation estimates (SGPEs), namely CRT, BLD, 3B42CDR, and 3B42 for the extreme precipitation and stream'ow scenarios over the upper Yellow river basin (UYRB) in china during 2001-2012-time period. The performances of the satellites were compared with the Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA) datasets using the hydrologic model called Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) which is known as a land surface hydrologic model. Results indicated that irrespective of the slight underestimation in the western mountains and overestimation in the southeast, the four SGPEs could generally captured the spatial distribution of precipitation well. Although 3B42 exhibited a better performance in capturing the spatial distribution of daily average precipitation, BLD agreed best with CMA in the time series of watershed average precipitation, which resulted in BLD having a comparable performance to the CMA in the long-term hydrological simulations. Moreover, the potential for disastrous heavy rain mainly occurs in southeastern corner of the basin, and CRT and BLD comparisons showed to be closer to the CMA in the distribution of extreme precipitation events, while 3B42 and CDR satellites overestimated the extreme precipitation, especially over the southeast of UYRB region. Therefore, CRT and BLD satellites could match the high peak discharges very well for the wet seasons, while 3B42 and CDR satellites overrated the high peak discharges. In addition, the four SGPEs performed well for the 2005 flood event but exhibited poorly when tested for the 2012 flood event. Results obtained indicate that the application of the four SGPEs should be used with caution in simulating massive flood events over UYRB region.