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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 13, issue 7
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 13, 1349–1360, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-13-1349-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 13, 1349–1360, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-13-1349-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  29 Jul 2009

29 Jul 2009

Radar rainfall estimation for the post-event analysis of a Slovenian flash-flood case: application of the Mountain Reference Technique at C-band frequency

L. Bouilloud1, G. Delrieu1, B. Boudevillain1, M. Borga2, and F. Zanon2 L. Bouilloud et al.
  • 1Laboratoire d'étude des Transferts en Hydrologie et Environnement, Grenoble, France
  • 2Dept. of Land and Agroforest Environment, University of Padova, Legnaro, Italy

Abstract. This article is dedicated to radar rainfall estimation for the post-event analysis of a flash flood that occurred on 18 September 2007 in Slovenia. The utility of the Mountain Reference Technique is demonstrated to quantify rain attenuation effects that affect C-band radar measurements in heavy rain. Maximum path-integrated attenuation between 15 and 20 dB were estimated thanks to mountain returns for path-averaged rain rates between 10 and 15 mm h−1 over a 120-km path. Assuming the reflectivity-attenuation relationship to be known, the proposed technique allows for estimating an effective radar calibration correction factor to be accounted for in the parameterization of the attenuation correction. Screening effects are quantified using a geometrical calculation based on a digitized terrain model of the region. The vertical structure of the reflectivity is modeled with a normalized apparent vertical profile of reflectivity. Implementation of the radar data processing indicates that: (1) the combined correction for radar calibration and attenuation effects allows for obtaining satisfactory radar rain estimates (Nash criterion of 0.8 at the event time scale); (2) due to the attenuation equation instability, it is however compulsory to limit the maximum path-integrated attenuation to be corrected to about 10 dB; (3) the results also prove to be sensitive on the parameterization of reflectivity-attenuation-rainrate relationships.

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