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Climate 2017, 5(4), 90; doi:10.3390/cli5040090

Comparison of Satellite Rainfall Estimates and Rain Gauge Measurements in Italy, and Impact on Landslide Modeling

1
Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 06128 Perugia, Italy
2
Hydrological Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
3
Dipartimento di Fisica e Geologia, Università degli Studi di Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
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Abstract

Landslides can be triggered by intense or prolonged rainfall. Rain gauge measurements are commonly used to predict landslides even if satellite rainfall estimates are available. Recent research focuses on the comparison of satellite estimates and gauge measurements. The rain gauge data from the Italian network (collected in the system database “Verifica Rischio Frana”, VRF) are compared with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) products. For the purpose, we couple point gauge and satellite rainfall estimates at individual grid cells, evaluating the correlation between gauge and satellite data in different morpho-climatological conditions. We then analyze the statistical distributions of both rainfall data types and the rainfall events derived from them. Results show that satellite data underestimates ground data, with the largest differences in mountainous areas. Power-law models, are more appropriate to correlate gauge and satellite data. The gauge and satellite-based products exhibit different statistical distributions and the rainfall events derived from them differ. In conclusion, satellite rainfall cannot be directly compared with ground data, requiring local investigation to account for specific morpho-climatological settings. Results suggest that satellite data can be used for forecasting landslides, only performing a local scaling between satellite and ground data. View Full-Text
Keywords: landslide; satellite rainfall; TRMM; rain gauges; hydrogeological model landslide; satellite rainfall; TRMM; rain gauges; hydrogeological model
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Rossi, M.; Kirschbaum, D.; Valigi, D.; Mondini, A.C.; Guzzetti, F. Comparison of Satellite Rainfall Estimates and Rain Gauge Measurements in Italy, and Impact on Landslide Modeling. Climate 2017, 5, 90.

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