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Evaluation and Hydrological Application of TRMM and GPM Precipitation Products in a Tropical Monsoon Basin of Thailand

State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Jointly Sponsored by Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(4), 818;
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
PDF [6216 KB, uploaded 19 April 2019]


Watershed runoff is essential for water management. However, runoff materials are lacking in poorly gauged catchments and not always accessible. Microwave remote sensing offers emerging capabilities for hydrological simulation. In this study based on multi-satellite retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG), Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) products, and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) interpolated precipitation data, we simulated runoff using a variable infiltration capacity (VIC) model and studied the differences among the results. Then, we analyzed the impacts of the runoff on a moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer vegetation leaf area index (LAI) during dry seasons. The results showed that (1) IMERG V5 and TRMM products are capable of monitoring the night-day rainfall diurnal cycle and have higher correlations than the WMO daily observation interpolations. However, the WMO shows less overestimation of total precipitation than remote-sensing precipitation; (2) in the downstream, the TRMM shows better runoff simulation accuracy in the tributaries, and the WMO shows better results in the mainstreams. Therefore, at basin outlets in mainstreams, the Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency coefficients of monthly runoff by the WMO are higher than the simulations by the TRMM; (3) for the whole basin during dry seasons, the LAI variation is correlated with the outlet runoff, which is similar to the correlation with three- to six-month accumulated precipitation. TRMM products can be used to depict both precipitation deficit and runoff deficit, which cause vegetation variations. Our research suggests the potential of microwave precipitation products for detailed watershed runoff simulations and water management. View Full-Text
Keywords: runoff; LAI; TRMM; VIC model; drought runoff; LAI; TRMM; VIC model; drought

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Li, R.; Shi, J.; Ji, D.; Zhao, T.; Plermkamon, V.; Moukomla, S.; Kuntiyawichai, K.; Kruasilp, J. Evaluation and Hydrological Application of TRMM and GPM Precipitation Products in a Tropical Monsoon Basin of Thailand. Water 2019, 11, 818.

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