Water resources planning and management depend on the quality of climatic data, particularly rainfall data, for reliable hydrological modeling. This can be very problematic in transboundary rivers with limited disclosing of data among the riparian countries. Satellite precipitation products are recognized as a promising source to substitute the ground-based observations in these conditions. This research aims to assess the feasibility of using a satellite-based precipitation product for better hydrological modeling in an ungauged and riparian river in Pakistan, i.e., the Chenab River. A semidistributed hydrological model of The soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) was set up and two renowned satellite precipitation products, i.e., global precipitation mission (GPM) IMERG-F v6 and tropical rainfall measuring mission (TRMM) 3B42 v7, were selected to assess the runoff pattern in Chenab River. The calibration was done from 2001–2006 with two years of a warmup period. The validation (2007–2010) results exhibit higher correlation between observed and simulated discharges at monthly timescale simulations, IMERG-F (R2
= 0.89, NSE = 0.82), 3B42 (R2
= 0.85, NSE = 0.72), rather than daily timescale simulations, IMERG-F (R2
= 0.66, NSE = 0.61), 3B42 (R2
= 0.64, NSE = 0.54). Moreover, the comparison between IMERG-F and 3B42, shows that IMERG-F is superior to 3B42 by indicating higher R2
, NSE and lower percent bias (PBIAS) at both monthly and daily timescale. The results are strengthened by Taylor diagram statistics, which represent a higher correlation (R) and less RMS error between observed and simulated values for IMERG-F. IMERG-F has great potential utility in the Chenab River catchment as it outperformed the 3B42 precipitation in this study. However, its poor skill of capturing peaks at daily timescale remains, leaving a room for IMERG-F to improve its algorithm in the upcoming release.
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