Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2023-215
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2023-215
12 Sep 2023
 | 12 Sep 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Use of satellite remote sensing to validate reservoir operations in global hydrological models: a case study from the CONUS

Kedar Otta, Hannes Müller Schmied, Simon N. Gosling, and Naota Hanasaki

Abstract. Although river discharge simulations from global hydrological models have undergone extensive validation, there has been less validation of reservoir operations, primarily because of limited observational data. However, recent advancements in satellite remote sensing technology have facilitated the collection of valuable data regarding water surface area and elevation, thereby providing the ability to validate reservoir storage. In this study, we sought to establish a methodology for validation and intercomparison of reservoir storage within global hydrological model simulations using satellite-derived data. Accordingly, we chose two satellite-derived reservoir operation products, DAHITI and GRSAD, to create monthly time series storage data for seven reservoirs in the contiguous United States (CONUS) , with access to long-term ground truth data (the total catchment area accounts for about 9 % of CONUS). We assessed two global hydrological models that participated in the Inter Sectoral Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) Phase 3 project, H08 and WaterGAP2, with three distinct forcing datasets: GSWP3-W5E5 (GW), CR20v3-W5E5 (CW), and CR20v3-ERA5 (CE). The results indicated that WaterGAP2 generally outperforms H08; the CW forcing dataset demonstrated superior results compared with GW and CE; the DAHITI showed better consistency with ground observations than GRSAD if temporal coverage is sufficient. Overall, our study emphasizes the potential uses of satellite remote sensing data in reservoir operations validation and underscores the importance of normalization and decomposition techniques for improved validation efficacy. The results highlight the relative performances of different hydrological models and forcing datasets, yielding insights concerning future advancements in reservoir simulation and operational studies.

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Kedar Otta, Hannes Müller Schmied, Simon N. Gosling, and Naota Hanasaki

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2023-215', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Sep 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Naota Hanasaki, 05 Dec 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2023-215', Anonymous Referee #2, 16 Oct 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Naota Hanasaki, 05 Dec 2023
Kedar Otta, Hannes Müller Schmied, Simon N. Gosling, and Naota Hanasaki

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Use of satellite remote sensing to validate reservoir operations in global hydrological models: a case study from the CONUS Kedar Otta, Hannes Müller Schmied, Simon N. Gosling, and Naota Hanasaki https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8291850

Kedar Otta, Hannes Müller Schmied, Simon N. Gosling, and Naota Hanasaki

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Short summary
Reservoirs play important roles in hydrology and water resources management globally and are incorporated into many Global Hydrological Models. Their simulations are, however, poorly validated due to the lack of available long-term in-situ observation data globally. Here we investigated the applicability of the latest satellite-based reservoir storage estimations in the contiguous US. We found that those products are useful for validating reservoir storage simulations when they are normalized.