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Water 2018, 10(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020213

Validation of Satellite Estimates (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, TRMM) for Rainfall Variability over the Pacific Slope and Coast of Ecuador

1
UMR 5563 GET, Université de Toulouse—CNRS—IRD—OMP—CNES, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
2
Empresa Pública Metropolitana de Agua Potable y Saneamiento (EPMAPS–Agua de Quito), Quito 17-03-0330, Ecuador
3
Departamento de Ingeniería Civil y Ambiental, Facultad de Ingeniería Civil y Ambiental, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito 17-01-2759, Ecuador
4
UMR 5566 LEGOS, Université de Toulouse—CNRS—IRD—OMP—CNES, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
5
Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222, USA
6
Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Matemáticas, Centro del Agua y Desarrollo Sustentable, Campus Gustavo Galindo, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) Km. 30.5 Vía Perimetral, P.O. Box 09-01-5863, Guayaquil, Ecuador
7
Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (INAMHI), Proceso Desconcentrado Cuenca del Guayas, Guayaquil 090150, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Remote Sensing in Hydrology)
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Abstract

A dense rain-gauge network within continental Ecuador was used to evaluate the quality of various products of rainfall data over the Pacific slope and coast of Ecuador (EPSC). A cokriging interpolation method is applied to the rain-gauge data yielding a gridded product at 5-km resolution covering the period 1965–2015. This product is compared with the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) dataset, the Climatic Research Unit–University of East Anglia (CRU) dataset, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM/TMPA 3B43 Version 7) dataset and the ERA-Interim Reanalysis. The analysis reveals that TRMM data show the most realistic features. The relative bias index (Rbias) indicates that TRMM data is closer to the observations, mainly over lowlands (mean Rbias of 7%) but have more limitations in reproducing the rainfall variability over the Andes (mean Rbias of −28%). The average RMSE and Rbias of 68.7 and −2.8% of TRMM are comparable with the GPCC (69.8 and 5.7%) and CRU (102.3 and −2.3%) products. This study also focuses on the rainfall inter-annual variability over the study region which experiences floods that have caused high economic losses during extreme El Niño events. Finally, our analysis evaluates the ability of TRMM data to reproduce rainfall events during El Niño years over the study area and the large basins of Esmeraldas and Guayas rivers. The results show that TRMM estimates report reasonable levels of heavy rainfall detection (for the extreme 1998 El Niño event) over the EPSC and specifically towards the center-south of the EPSC (Guayas basin) but present underestimations for the moderate El Niño of 2002–2003 event and the weak 2009–2010 event. Generally, the rainfall seasonal features, quantity and long-term climatology patterns are relatively well estimated by TRMM. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainfall variability; El Niño events; in situ data; TRMM; Ecuadorian Pacific slope and coast; Esmeraldas and Guayas basins rainfall variability; El Niño events; in situ data; TRMM; Ecuadorian Pacific slope and coast; Esmeraldas and Guayas basins
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Erazo, B.; Bourrel, L.; Frappart, F.; Chimborazo, O.; Labat, D.; Dominguez-Granda, L.; Matamoros, D.; Mejia, R. Validation of Satellite Estimates (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, TRMM) for Rainfall Variability over the Pacific Slope and Coast of Ecuador. Water 2018, 10, 213.

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