Impact of topography and rainfall intensity on the accuracy of imerg precipitation estimates in an arid region

Mohammed T. Mahmoud, Safa A. Mohammed, Mohamed A. Hamouda, Mohamed M. Mohamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of topographical characteristics and rainfall intensity on the accuracy of satellite precipitation estimates is of importance to the adoption of satellite data for hydrological ap-plications. This study evaluates the three GPM IMERG V05B products over the arid country of Saudi Arabia. Statistical indices quantifying the performance of IMERG products were calculated under three evaluation techniques: seasonal-based, topographical, and rainfall intensity-based. Results indicated that IMERG products have the capability to detect seasons with the highest precipitation values (spring) and seasons with the lowest precipitation (summer). Moreover, results showed that IMERG products performed well under various rainfall intensities, particularly under light rain, which is the most common rainfall in arid regions. Furthermore, IMERG products exhibited high detection accuracy over moderate elevations, whereas it had poor performance over coastal and mountainous regions. Overall, the results confirmed that the performance of the final-run product surpassed the near-real-time products in terms of consistency and errors. IMERG products can improve temporal resolution and play a significant role in filling data gaps in poorly gauged regions. However, due to the errors in IMERG products, it is recommended to use sub-daily rain gauge data in satellite calibration for better rainfall estimation over arid and semiarid regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021


  • GPM
  • Satellite-based precipitation products
  • Saudi Arabia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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