Evaluation of TRMM 3B42 Precipitation Product Using Rain Gauge Data in Meichuan Watershed, Poyang Lake Basin, China

  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3 Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA;
    4 Delft University of Technology, Delft, 2628 CN, Netherlands

Received date: 2012-11-08

  Revised date: 2012-12-05

  Online published: 2012-12-29

Supported by

the State High-Tech Development Plan of China (No. 2011AA120305) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41023010).


This study evaluated Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) product i.e. TRMM 3B42 data, using data from 52 rain gauge stations around the Meichuan watershed, which is a representative watershed of Poyang Lake basin in China. Both the latest Version 7 (V7) and previous Version 6 (V6) of TRMM 3B42 data were compared and evaluated for a 9-year period covering 2001-2005 and 2007-2010. The evaluations were conducted at different spatial (grid and watershed) and temporal (daily, monthly and annual) scales. For evaluation at grid scale, the Thiessen polygon method was used to transform pointed-based rain gauge data to areal precipitation at the same grid scale (0.25°) as TRMM 3B42 data. The results showed that there was little difference in performances of V6 and V7 TRMM 3B42 products. Overall, both V6 and V7 products slightly overestimated precipitation with a bias of 0.04. At daily scale, both V6 and V7 data were considered to be unreliable with large relative RMSE (135%-199%) at the two spatial scales, and they were deficient in capturing large storms. These results suggest that local calibration with rain gauge data should be conducted before V6 and V7 TRMM 3B42 data are used at daily scale. At monthly and annual scales, V6 and V7 TRMM 3B42 data match the rain gauge data well (R2 = 0.91-0.99, relative RMSE = 4%-23%) at both grid and watershed scale and thus have good potential for hydrological applications.

Cite this article

LIU Junzhi, ZHU A-Xing, DUAN Zheng . Evaluation of TRMM 3B42 Precipitation Product Using Rain Gauge Data in Meichuan Watershed, Poyang Lake Basin, China[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2012 , 3(4) : 359 -366 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2012.04.009


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