Publications in Scientific Journals:

P. Filippucci, L. Brocca, R. Quast, L. Ciabatta, C. Saltalippi, W. Wagner, A. Tarpanelli:
"High-resolution (1 km) satellite rainfall estimation from SM2RAIN applied to Sentinel-1: Po River basin as a case study";
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 26 (2022), 2481 - 2497.

English abstract:
The use of satellite sensors to infer rainfall measurements has become a widely used practice in recent years, but their spatial resolution usually exceeds 10 km, due to technological limitations. This poses an important constraint on its use for applications such as water resource management, index insurance evaluation or hydrological models, which require more and more detailed information.

In this work, the algorithm SM2RAIN (Soil Moisture to Rain) for rainfall estimation is applied to two soil moisture products over the Po River basin: a high-resolution soil moisture product derived from Sentinel-1, named S1-RT1, characterized by 1 km spatial resolution (500 m spacing), and a 25 (12.5 km spacing) product derived from ASCAT, resampled to the same grid as S1-RT1. In order to overcome the need for calibration and to allow for its global application, a parameterized version of SM2RAIN algorithm was adopted along with the standard one. The capabilities in estimating rainfall of each obtained product were then compared, to assess both the parameterized SM2RAIN performances and the added value of Sentinel-1 high spatial resolution.

The results show that good estimates of rainfall are obtainable from Sentinel-1 when considering aggregation time steps greater than 1 d, since the low temporal resolution of this sensor (from 1.5 to 4 d over Europe) prevents its application for infer daily rainfall. On average, the ASCAT-derived rainfall product performs better than S1-RT1, even if the performances are equally good when 30 d accumulated rainfall is considered (resulting in a mean Pearson correlation for the parameterized SM2RAIN product of 0.74 and 0.73, respectively). Notwithstanding this, the products obtained from Sentinel-1 outperform those from ASCAT in specific areas, like in valleys inside mountain regions and most of the plains, confirming the added value of the high-spatial-resolution information in obtaining spatially detailed rainfall. Finally, the performances of the parameterized products are similar to those obtained with the calibrated SM2RAIN algorithm, confirming the reliability of the parameterized algorithm for rainfall estimation in this area and fostering the possibility to apply SM2RAIN worldwide, even without the availability of a rainfall benchmark product.

"Official" electronic version of the publication (accessed through its Digital Object Identifier - DOI)

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