Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 496185
Title An appraisal of precipitation distribution in the high-altitude catchments of the Indus basin
Author(s) Dahri, Zakir Hussain; Ludwig, Fulco; Moors, Eddy; Ahmad, Bashir; Khan, Asif; Kabat, Pavel
Source Science of the Total Environment 548-549 (2016). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 289 - 306.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.001
Department(s) Alterra - Climate change and adaptive land and water management
Earth System Science
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Bias correction - Gridded precipitation products - High-altitude areas - Indus basin - Precipitation distribution
Abstract

Scarcity of in-situ observations coupled with high orographic influences has prevented a comprehensive assessment of precipitation distribution in the high-altitude catchments of Indus basin. Available data are generally fragmented and scattered with different organizations and mostly cover the valleys. Here, we combine most of the available station data with the indirect precipitation estimates at the accumulation zones of major glaciers to analyse altitudinal dependency of precipitation in the high-altitude Indus basin. The available observations signified the importance of orography in each sub-hydrological basin but could not infer an accurate distribution of precipitation with altitude. We used Kriging with External Drift (KED) interpolation scheme with elevation as a predictor to appraise spatiotemporal distribution of mean monthly, seasonal and annual precipitation for the period of 1998-2012. The KED-based annual precipitation estimates are verified by the corresponding basin-wide observed specific runoffs, which show good agreement. In contrast to earlier studies, our estimates reveal substantially higher precipitation in most of the sub-basins indicating two distinct rainfall maxima; 1st along southern and lower most slopes of Chenab, Jhelum, Indus main and Swat basins, and 2nd around north-west corner of Shyok basin in the central Karakoram. The study demonstrated that the selected gridded precipitation products covering this region are prone to significant errors. In terms of quantitative estimates, ERA-Interim is relatively close to the observations followed by WFDEI and TRMM, while APHRODITE gives highly underestimated precipitation estimates in the study area. Basin-wide seasonal and annual correction factors introduced for each gridded dataset can be useful for lumped hydrological modelling studies, while the estimated precipitation distribution can serve as a basis for bias correction of any gridded precipitation products for the study area.

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