Journal of Hydrology

Volume 618, March 2023, 129187
Journal of Hydrology

Research papers
Applicability comparison of various precipitation products of long-term hydrological simulations and their impact on parameter sensitivity

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2023.129187Get rights and content


  • Overall accuracy of products was ranked as CPC > HTLR > PERSIANN-CDR.

  • The ability of the HRLT in forcing a hydrological model has been evaluated firstly.

  • The streamflow parameter sensitivity changes with the precipitation inputs.

  • CPC performed best in hydrological simulation among these three products.

  • HTLR, PERSIANN-CDR, and CPC could simulate SY better than Q spatially.


Precipitation is an important component of water circulation and an essential input for various hydrological models. A high quality, high spatial resolution, and long-term precipitation dataset would benefit hydrological investigations, particularly for regions having insufficient precipitation records. The upper Huaihe River Basin (UHRB) was selected as the research location in this study, and the accuracies of three precipitation products (PPs: a high-resolution daily gridded precipitation dataset for China (HRLT), Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks-Climate Data Record (PERSIANN-CDR), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center Global (CPC) precipitation dataset) were assessed at multiple spatio-temporal scales comparing with the gauge precipitation (GP) for 2000–2019. Subsequently, the applicability of the three PPs on streamflow (Q) and sediment yield (SY) simulations, as well as the impact on parameter sensitivity, were compared using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The results showed that the accuracy of the three PPs were ranked as CPC > HRLT > PERSIANN-CDR on the watershed average scale, HRLT would underestimate the extreme precipitation; and PERSIANN-CDR would overestimate the annual precipitation. On the grid-to-point scale, PERSIANN-CDR was found to be the most stable with high accuracy, followed by CPC and HRLT on all temporal scales. The ability of these PPs to detect rainfall events was ranked as CPC > HRLT > PERSIANN-CDR. The sensitivity of the Q parameters changed with the variation in the precipitation input. The sensitive parameters for GP were distributed on average for almost all processes, while the sensitive parameters for PPs mainly controlled the groundwater and evapotranspiration processes. Among all the PPs, the performance of CPC in the Q and SY simulations was found to be the best, followed by HRLT and PERSIANN-CDR, and all the PPs could simulate SY better than Q in spatial distribution. HRLT has the potential to be used in long-term hydrological simulations in ungauged or small watersheds based on its high spatial resolution compared to other products.


Sediment yields
Hydrological simulation
SWAT model
Precipitation products
Huaihe River Basin

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