Climatological and Hydrological Observations for the South American Andes: In situ Stations, Satellite, and Reanalysis Data Sets
Frontiers in Earth Science
Modern hydrology relies on multiple sources of information combined with climatological, hydrological and glaciological data. These data can be collected through various sources such as private initiatives by companies, research programs, and both national and international organisms. They also vary by types, e.g., in situ measurements, satellite, reanalysis and simulated data. Recently the ANDEX research project, as a GEWEX regional program, was created to understand the processes related to
... e hydrological cycle and energy fluxes in the Andean region from Colombia to Patagonia. It is quite challenging to carry out this program given the complex orography and diversity of climates from tropical to sub-polar climates. This review article is a compilation of the various databases that are useful for hydrometeorological research in the South American Andes. The National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Argentina provide a large amount of data however the high-elevation areas are poorly instrumented and the number of stations varies greatly between the countries. National databases are only partially shared with the international bodies responsible for summarizing the existing data; this causes problems in term of data product assimilation. Across the entire continent, too few radiosondes are being used despite the fact that these data are crucial for validating and identifying problems in the atmospheric models. An increasing number of satellite data are available but it is difficult to assimilate them into the hydroclimatological models suited to the adjusted spatial and temporal resolutions. Specifically, for precipitation, we recommend merged products that account for the high spatial and temporal variability across the Andes. Finally, the international ANDEX program could be an excellent opportunity to increase the knowledge of the hydrological processes in the Andes.