Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2016-573
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
08 Nov 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Calibration of a parsimonious distributed ecohydrological daily model in a data scarce basin using exclusively the spatio-temporal variation of NDVI
Guiomar Ruiz-Pérez1, Julian Koch2,3, Salvatore Manfreda4, Kelly Caylor5, and Félix Francés6 1Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
2Department of Hydrology, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
4Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures, University of Basilicata, Matera, Italy
5Bren School of Environmental Science and Management & Department of Geography, UC Santa Barbara, California, USA
6Research Group of Hydrological and Environmental Modelling (GIHMA), Research Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
Abstract. Ecohydrological models provide a tool to investigate the mutual relationships between vegetation and the hydrological cycle. Ecohydrological modelling studies in developing countries, such as sub-saharan Africa often face the problem of extensive parametrical requirements and limited available data. Satellite remote sensing data may be able to fill this gap, but require novel methodologies to exploit its spatio-temporal information that could potentially be incorporated in ecohydrological model calibration and validation.

The present study aims to implement a distributed ecohydrological daily model in a data scarce environment with the support of remote sensing data. An automatic calibration procedure, based on Empirical Orthogonal Functions techniques, is proposed and applied in the Upper Ewaso river basin in Kenya. The model is calibrated only using NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) data derived from MODIS. The obtained results demonstrate that: (1) satellite data of vegetation dynamics contains an extraordinary amount of information that can be used to implement ecohydrological models in scarce data dry regions; (2) the model calibrated only using satellite data is able to reproduce both the spatio-temporal vegetation dynamics and the observed discharge at the outlet point; and (3) the proposed semi-automatic calibration methodology works satisfactorily and it allows to incorporate spatio-temporal data in the model parametrization.


Citation: Ruiz-Pérez, G., Koch, J., Manfreda, S., Caylor, K., and Francés, F.: Calibration of a parsimonious distributed ecohydrological daily model in a data scarce basin using exclusively the spatio-temporal variation of NDVI, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-573, in review, 2016.
Guiomar Ruiz-Pérez et al.
Guiomar Ruiz-Pérez et al.
Guiomar Ruiz-Pérez et al.

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Short summary
By taking a glance of our environment, one can understand the key role exerted by plants. It seems obvious they are shaping the landscape. We know the key role played by plants, hence ecohydrological models should be used. To implement them, we decided to explore new sources of information such as satellite data because this data is free and available within the word. Then, we propose a novel mathematical procedure to handle with this kind of data.
By taking a glance of our environment, one can understand the key role exerted by plants. It...
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