Evaluation of Grid-Based Rainfall Products and Water Balances over the Mekong River Basin Academic Article uri icon


  • Gridded precipitation products (GPPs) with wide spatial coverage and easy accessibility are well recognized as a supplement to ground-based observations for various hydrological applications. The error properties of satellite rainfall products vary as a function of rainfall intensity, climate region, altitude, and land surface conditionsall factors that must be addressed prior to any application. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate four commonly used GPPs: the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Unified Gauge-Based Analysis of Global Daily Precipitation, the Climate Prediction Center Morphing (CMORPH) technique, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42, and the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP), using data collected in the period 19982006 at different spatial and temporal scales. Furthermore, this study investigates the hydrological performance of these products against the 175 rain gauges placed across the whole Mekong River Basin (MRB) using a set of statistical indicators, along with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The results from the analysis indicate that TRMM has the best performance at the annual, seasonal, and monthly scales, but at the daily scale, CPC and GSMaP are revealed to be the more accurate option for the Upper MRB. The hydrological evaluation results at the daily scale further suggest that the TRMM is the more accurate option for hydrological performance in the Lower MRB, and CPC shows the best performance in the Upper MRB. Our study is the first attempt to use distinct suggested GPPs for each individual sub-region to evaluate the water balance components in order to provide better references for the assessment and management of basin water resources in data-scarce regions, suggesting strong capabilities for utilizing publicly available GPPs in hydrological applications.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Kha, D. D., Tran, N. A., Nguyen, N. Y., Du, D. B., & Srinivasan, R.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Kha, Dang Dinh||Tran, Ngoc Anh||Nguyen, Nhu Y||Du, Duong Bui||Srinivasan, Raghavan

publication date

  • June 2020