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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 536560
Title Adjustment of measurement errors to reconcile precipitation distribution in the high-altitude Indus basin
Author(s) Dahri, Zakir Hussain; Moors, Eddy; Ludwig, Fulco; Ahmad, Shakil; Khan, Asif; Ali, Irfan; Kabat, Pavel
Source International Journal of Climatology (2018). - ISSN 0899-8418
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joc.5539
Department(s) Water Systems and Global Change
WIMEK
Earth System Science
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Bias correction of precipitation - High-altitude Indus basin - Net mass balance contribution to river run-off - Net snow accumulation adjustments - Precipitation distribution - Precipitation measurement errors
Abstract Precipitation in the high-altitude Indus basin governs its renewable water resources affecting water, energy and food securities. However, reliable estimates of precipitation climatology and associated hydrological implications are seriously constrained by the quality of observed data. As such, quantitative and spatio-temporal distributions of precipitation estimated by previous studies in the study area are highly contrasting and uncertain. Generally, scarcity and biased distribution of observed data at the higher altitudes and measurement errors in precipitation observations are the primary causes of such uncertainties. In this study, we integrated precipitation data of 307 observatories with the net snow accumulations estimated through mass balance studies at 21 major glacier zones. Precipitation observations are adjusted for measurement errors using the guidelines and standard methods developed under the WMO's international precipitation measurement intercomparisons, while net snow accumulations are adjusted for ablation losses using standard ablation gradients. The results showed more significant increases in precipitation of individual stations located at higher altitudes during winter months, which are consistent with previous studies. Spatial interpolation of unadjusted precipitation observations and net snow accumulations at monthly scale indicated significant improvements in the quantitative and spatio-temporal distribution of precipitation over the unadjusted case and previous studies. Adjustment of river flows revealed only a marginal contribution of net glacier mass balance to river flows. The adjusted precipitation estimates are more consistent with the corresponding adjusted river flows. The study recognized that the higher river flows than the corresponding precipitation estimates by the previous studies are mainly due to underestimated precipitation. The results can be useful for water balance studies and bias correction of gridded precipitation products for the study area.
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