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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-549
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
12 Sep 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Informing a hydrological model of the Ogooué with multi-mission remote sensing data
Cecile M. M. Kittel1, Karina Nielsen2, Christian Tøttrup3, and Peter Bauer-Gottwein1 1Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, 2800, Denmark
2National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, 2800, Denmark
3DHI-GRAS, Hørsholm, 2970, Denmark
Abstract. Remote sensing provides a unique opportunity to inform and constrain a hydrological model and to increase its value as a decision-support tool. In this study, we applied a multi-mission approach to force, calibrate and validate a hydrological model of the ungauged Ogooué river basin in Africa with publicly available and free remote sensing observations. We used a rainfall–runoff model based on the Budyko framework coupled with a Muskingum routing approach. We parametrized the model using the SRTM DEM, and forced it using precipitation from two satellite-based rainfall estimates, FEWS-RFE and TRMM 3B42 v.7, and temperature from ECMWF ERA-Interim. We combined three different datasets to calibrate the model using an aggregated objective function with contributions from: (1) historical in-situ discharge observations from the period 1953-1984 at 6 locations in the basin, (2) radar altimetry measurements of river stages by Envisat and Jason-2 at 12 locations in the basin and (3) GRACE total water storage change. Additionally, we extracted CryoSat-2 observations throughout the basin using a Sentinel-1 SAR imagery water mask and used the observations for validation of the model. The use of new satellite missions, including Sentinel-1 and CryoSat-2, increased the spatial characterization of river stage. Throughout the basin, we achieved good agreement between observed and simulated discharge and river stage, with a RMSD between simulated and observed water amplitudes at virtual stations of 0.74 m for the TRMM forced model and 0.87 m for the FEWS-RFE forced model. The hydrological model also generally captures total water storage change patterns, although the amplitude of storage change is generally underestimated. By combining hydrological modelling with multi-mission remote sensing from ten different satellite missions, we obtain new information on an otherwise unstudied basin. The proposed model is the best current baseline characterisation of hydrological conditions in the Ogooué in light of the available observations.

Citation: Kittel, C. M. M., Nielsen, K., Tøttrup, C., and Bauer-Gottwein, P.: Informing a hydrological model of the Ogooué with multi-mission remote sensing data, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-549, in review, 2017.
Cecile M. M. Kittel et al.
Cecile M. M. Kittel et al.
Cecile M. M. Kittel et al.

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Short summary
In this study, we integrate free, global Earth observations in a user-friendly and flexible model to reliably characterize an otherwise unmonitored river basin. The proposed model is the best baseline characterization of the Ogooué basin in light of available observations. Furthermore, the study shows the potential of using new, publicly available Earth observations and a suitable model structure to obtain new information in poorly monitored or remote areas and to support user requirements.
In this study, we integrate free, global Earth observations in a user-friendly and flexible...
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