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Evaluation and Bias Correction of CHIRP Rainfall Estimate for Rainfall-Runoff Simulation over Lake Ziway Watershed, Ethiopia

Demelash Wondimagegnehu Goshime, Rafik Absi, Béatrice Ledésert
Published: 9 August 2019
 by  MDPI
Hydrology , Volume 6; doi:10.3390/hydrology6030068

Abstract: In Lake Ziway watershed in Ethiopia, the contribution of river inflow to the water level has not been quantified due to scarce data for rainfall-runoff modeling. However, satellite rainfall estimates may serve as an alternative data source for model inputs. In this study, we evaluated the performance and the bias correction of Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation (CHIRP) satellite estimate for rainfall-runoff simulation at Meki and Katar catchments using the Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning (HBV) hydrological model. A non-linear power bias correction method was applied to correct CHIRP bias using rain gauge data as a reference. Results show that CHIRP has biases at various spatial and temporal scales over the study area. The CHIRP bias with percentage relative bias (PBIAS) ranging from −16 to 20% translated into streamflow simulation through the HBV model. However, bias-corrected CHIRP rainfall estimate effectively reduced the bias and resulted in improved streamflow simulations. Results indicated that the use of different rainfall inputs impacts both the calibrated parameters and its performance in simulating daily streamflow of the two catchments. The calibrated model parameter values obtained using gauge and bias-corrected CHIRP rainfall inputs were comparable for both catchments. We obtained a change of up to 63% on the parameters controlling the water balance when uncorrected CHIRP satellite rainfall served as model inputs. The results of this study indicate that the potential of bias-corrected CHIRP rainfall estimate for water balance studies.
Keywords: bias correction / Satellite rainfall / Ethiopia / chirp / MEKi / Lake Ziway / Rainfall-runoff Simulation / Katar

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