Radar–rain-gauge rainfall estimation for hydrological applications in small catchments

Salvatore Gabriele, Francesco Chiaravalloti, Antonio Procopio
2017 Advances in Geosciences  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> The accurate evaluation of the precipitation's time–spatial structure is a critical step for rainfall–runoff modelling. Particularly for small catchments, the variability of rainfall can lead to mismatched results. Large errors in flow evaluation may occur during convective storms, responsible for most of the flash floods in small catchments in the Mediterranean area. During such events, we may expect large spatial and temporal variability. Therefore, using
more » ... fore, using rain-gauge measurements only can be insufficient in order to adequately depict extreme rainfall events. In this work, a double-level information approach, based on rain gauges and weather radar measurements, is used to improve areal rainfall estimations for hydrological applications. In order to highlight the effect that precipitation fields with different level of spatial details have on hydrological modelling, two kinds of spatial rainfall fields were computed for precipitation data collected during 2015, considering both rain gauges only and their merging with radar information. The differences produced by these two precipitation fields in the computation of the areal mean rainfall accumulation were evaluated considering 999 basins of the region Calabria, southern Italy. Moreover, both of the two precipitation fields were used to carry out rainfall–runoff simulations at catchment scale for main precipitation events that occurred during 2015 and the differences between the scenarios obtained in the two cases were analysed. A representative case study is presented in detail.</p>
doi:10.5194/adgeo-44-61-2017 fatcat:gddnps2lard4hjasn62cuebcvq