PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (7): 923-932.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.07.006

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Reconstruction of high resolution monthly precipitation data of the Tibetan Plateau

Ming XU(), Yuli SHI(), Bin WANG   

  1. School of Geography and Remote Sensing, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • Received:2017-09-06 Revised:2018-02-10 Online:2018-07-28 Published:2018-07-28
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41471312


The Tibetan Plateau is of great significance to the study of global climate. Precipitation data are also important to hydrological, meteorological, and ecological research. With the change of research content and scale, the demand for historical precipitation data with high spatial and temporal resolutions is increasingly more urgent. This study selected six factors including the normalized vegetation index(NDVI), elevation, slope, longitude, latitude, and precipitation to obtain the historical precipitation data with high spatial and temporal resolutions of the Tibetan Plateau from 1982 to 1997. This research is based on the precipitation data of TRMM 3B43, AVHRR NDVI, and SRTM DEM. The factors were entered into the random forest model. A historical precipitation model was constructed to obtain the spatial resolution of 0.0833° for annual precipitation. Monthly precipitation was estimated according to the proportional coefficient. In order to improve estimation accuracy, the simulated monthly precipitation was corrected using station data. The results show that the method can simulate historical precipitation with high spatial and temporal resolutions. The coefficient of determination R2 is between 0.4 and 0.9, with an average value of 0.6767. The model performed better in summer and worse in winter. The root mean square error and average absolute error is below 50 mm. RMSE mean is 22.66 mm. MAE mean is 15.97 mm. Deviation bias is between 0.0 and 0.1.

Key words: random forest, historical precipitation, reconstruction, TRMM 3B43, Tibetan Plateau