Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Network-Cloud Classification System
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPrecipitation estimation from satellite information (VISIBLE , IR, or microwave) is becoming increasingly imperative because of its high spatial/temporal resolution and board coverage unparalleled by ground-based data. After decades' efforts of rainfall estimation using IR imagery as basis, it has been explored and concluded that the limitations/uncertainty of the existing techniques are: (1) pixel-based local-scale feature extraction; (2) IR temperature threshold to define rain/no-rain clouds; (3) indirect relationship between rain rate and cloud-top temperature; (4) lumped techniques to model high variability of cloud-precipitation processes; (5) coarse scales of rainfall products. As continuing studies, a new version of Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Network (PERSIANN), called Cloud Classification System (CCS), has been developed to cope with these limitations in this dissertation. CCS includes three consecutive components: (1) a hybrid segmentation algorithm, namely Hierarchically Topographical Thresholding and Stepwise Seeded Region Growing (HTH-SSRG), to segment satellite IR images into separated cloud patches; (2) a 3D feature extraction procedure to retrieve both pixel-based local-scale and patch-based large-scale features of cloud patch at various heights; (3) an ANN model, Self-Organizing Nonlinear Output (SONO) network, to classify cloud patches into similarity-based clusters, using Self-Organizing Feature Map (SOFM), and then calibrate hundreds of multi-parameter nonlinear functions to identify the relationship between every cloud types and their underneath precipitation characteristics using Probability Matching Method and Multi-Start Downhill Simplex optimization techniques. The model was calibrated over the Southwest of United States (100°--130°W and 25°--45°N) first and then adaptively adjusted to the study region of North America Monsoon Experiment (65°--135°W and 10°--50°N) using observations from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) IR imagery, Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) rainfall network, and Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) microwave rain rate estimates. CCS functions as a distributed model that first identifies cloud patches and then dispatches different but the best matching cloud-precipitation function for each cloud patch to estimate instantaneous rain rate at high spatial resolution (4km) and full temporal resolution of GOES IR images (every 30-minute). Evaluated over a range of spatial and temporal scales, the performance of CCS compared favorably with GOES Precipitation Index (GPI), Universal Adjusted GPI (UAGPI), PERSIANN, and Auto-Estimator (AE) algorithms, consistently. Particularly, the large number of nonlinear functions and optimum IR-rain rate thresholds of CCS model are highly variable, reflecting the complexity of dominant cloud-precipitation processes from cloud patch to cloud patch over various regions. As a result, CCS can more successfully capture variability in rain rate at small scales than existing algorithms and potentially provides rainfall product from GOES IR-NEXARD-TRMM TMI (SSM/I) at 0.12° x 0.12° and 3-hour resolution with relative low standard error (∼=3.0mm/hr) and high correlation coefficient (∼=0.65).
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Hydrology and Water Resources