Articles | Volume 11, issue 4
20 Jun 2007
20 Jun 2007

Spatial disaggregation of bias-corrected GCM precipitation for improved hydrologic simulation: Ping River Basin, Thailand

D. Sharma, A. Das Gupta, and M. S. Babel

Abstract. Global Climate Models (GCMs) precipitation scenarios are often characterized by biases and coarse resolution that limit their direct application for basin level hydrological modeling. Bias-correction and spatial disaggregation methods are employed to improve the quality of ECHAM4/OPYC SRES A2 and B2 precipitation for the Ping River Basin in Thailand. Bias-correction method, based on gamma-gamma transformation, is applied to improve the frequency and amount of raw GCM precipitation at the grid nodes. Spatial disaggregation model parameters (β,σ2), based on multiplicative random cascade theory, are estimated using Mandelbrot-Kahane-Peyriere (MKP) function at q=1 for each month. Bias-correction method exhibits ability of reducing biases from the frequency and amount when compared with the computed frequency and amount at grid nodes based on spatially interpolated observed rainfall data. Spatial disaggregation model satisfactorily reproduces the observed trend and variation of average rainfall amount except during heavy rainfall events with certain degree of spatial and temporal variations. Finally, the hydrologic model, HEC-HMS, is applied to simulate the observed runoff for upper Ping River Basin based on the modified GCM precipitation scenarios and the raw GCM precipitation. Precipitation scenario developed with bias-correction and disaggregation provides an improved reproduction of basin level runoff observations.