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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation and Bias Correction of Satellite-Based Rainfall Estimates for Modelling Flash Floods over the Mediterranean region: Application to Karpuz River Basin, Turkey

1
Water Resources Research Center, DPRI, Kyoto University, Goka-sho, Uji City, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan
2
Department of Geological Engineering, Middle East Technical University, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(5), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050657
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
This study investigates the utility of satellite-based rainfall estimates in simulating flash floods in Karpuz River Basin, Turkey, characterized by limited rain gauge network. Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP) product was evaluated with the rain gauge network at daily and monthly time-scales considering seasonality, elevation zones, extreme events and rainfall intensity thresholds. Statistical analysis indicated that GSMaP shows acceptable linear correlation coefficient with rain gauges, however, suffers from significant underestimation bias. Statistical measures exhibited a remarkable deterioration with increasing elevation-following a linear relationship; for example, percent bias was found to increase by a rate of 11.7% with every 400 m interval. A multiplicative bias correction scheme was devised, and Hydrological River Basin Environmental Assessment Model (Hydro-BEAM) was implemented to simulate flash floods driven by the uncorrected/corrected GSMaP data. Analysis of intensity thresholds revealed that appropriate threshold selection is critically important for the bias correction procedure. The hydrological model was calibrated for flash flood events during October–December 2007 and 2012 and validated during October–December, 2009 and 2010. Flash floods simulations were improved by the local bias correction procedure applied to the GSMaP data, but the degree of improvement varied from one period to another. The results of the study indicate that bias factors incorporating multiple variables such as extreme events and elevation variability have the potential to further improve flood simulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: satellite-based precipitation; bias correction; GSMaP; flash flood modelling; Mediterranean; Turkey satellite-based precipitation; bias correction; GSMaP; flash flood modelling; Mediterranean; Turkey
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Saber, M.; Yilmaz, K.K. Evaluation and Bias Correction of Satellite-Based Rainfall Estimates for Modelling Flash Floods over the Mediterranean region: Application to Karpuz River Basin, Turkey. Water 2018, 10, 657.

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