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Satellite-based Flood Modeling Using TRMM-based Rainfall Products

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN 38505, USA
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
Geoinformatics Research Center, Department of Geological Engineering, University of Mississippi. Oxford, MS, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2007, 7(12), 3416-3427;
Received: 30 November 2007 / Accepted: 18 December 2007 / Published: 20 December 2007
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Surface Properties, Patterns and Processes)
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Increasingly available and a virtually uninterrupted supply of satellite-estimatedrainfall data is gradually becoming a cost-effective source of input for flood predictionunder a variety of circumstances. However, most real-time and quasi-global satelliterainfall products are currently available at spatial scales ranging from 0.25o to 0.50o andhence, are considered somewhat coarse for dynamic hydrologic modeling of basin-scaleflood events. This study assesses the question: what are the hydrologic implications ofuncertainty of satellite rainfall data at the coarse scale? We investigated this question onthe 970 km2 Upper Cumberland river basin of Kentucky. The satellite rainfall productassessed was NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellitePrecipitation Analysis (TMPA) product called 3B41RT that is available in pseudo real timewith a latency of 6-10 hours. We observed that bias adjustment of satellite rainfall data canimprove application in flood prediction to some extent with the trade-off of more falsealarms in peak flow. However, a more rational and regime-based adjustment procedureneeds to be identified before the use of satellite data can be institutionalized among floodmodelers. View Full-Text
Keywords: Satellite rainfall; statistical downscaling; floods; uncertainty. Satellite rainfall; statistical downscaling; floods; uncertainty.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Harris, A.; Rahman, S.; Hossain, F.; Yarborough, L.; Bagtzoglou, A.C.; Easson, G. Satellite-based Flood Modeling Using TRMM-based Rainfall Products. Sensors 2007, 7, 3416-3427.

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