Recent developments of satellite precipitation products provide an unprecedented opportunity for better precipitation estimation, and thus broaden hydrological application. However, due to the errors and uncertainties of satellite products, a thorough validation is usually required before putting into the real hydrological application. As such, this study aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation on the performances of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) 3B42V7 and Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks-Climate Data Record (PERSIANN-CDR), as well as their adequacies in simulating hydrological processes in a semi-humid region in the northeastern China. It was found that TMPA 3B42V7 showed a superior performance at the daily and monthly time scales, and had a favorable capture of the rainfall-intensity distribution. Intra-annual comparisons indicated a better representation of TMPA 3B42V7 from January to September, whereas PERSIANN-CDR was more reliable from October to December. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) driven by gauge precipitation data performed excellently with NSE > 0.9, while the performances of TMPA 3B42V7- and PERSIANN-CDR-based models are satisfactory with NSE > 0.5. The performances varied under different flow levels and hydrological years. Water balance analysis indicated a better performance of TMPA 3B42V7 in simulating the hydrological processes, including evapotranspiration, groundwater recharge and total runoff. The runoff compositions (i.e., base flow, subsurface flow, and surface flow) driven by TMPA 3B42V7 were more accordant with the actual hydrological features. This study will not only help recognize the potential satellite precipitation products for local water resources management, but also be a reference for the poor-gauged regions with similar hydrologic and climatic conditions around the world, especially the northeastern China and western Russia.
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