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Multifractal Comparison of Reflectivity and Polarimetric Rainfall Data from C- and X-Band Radars and Respective Hydrological Responses of a Complex Catchment Model

Abstract : This paper presents a comparison between C-band and X-band radar data over an instrumented and regulated catchment of the Paris region. We study the benefits of polarimetry and the respective hydrological impacts with the help of rain gauge and flow measurements using a semi-distributed hydrological model. Both types of radar confirm the high spatial variability of the rainfall down to their space resolution (1 km and 250 m, respectively). Therefore, X-band radar data underscore the limitations of simulations using a semi-distributed model with sub-catchments of an average size of 2 km. The use of the polarimetric capacity of the Météo-France C-band radar was limited to corrections of the horizontal reflectivity, and its rainfall estimates are adjusted with the help of a rain gauge network. On the contrary, no absolute calibration and scanning optimisation were performed for the polarimetric X-band radar of the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech (hereafter referred to as the ENPC X-band radar). In spite of this and the fact that the catchment is much closer to the C-band radar than to the X-band radar (average distance of 15 km vs. 35 km, respectively), the latter seems to perform at least as well as the former, but with a higher spatial resolution. This was best highlighted with the help of a multifractal analysis, which also shows that the X-band radar was able to pick up a few rainfall extremes that were smoothed out by the C-band radar.
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Igor Paz, Bernard Willinger, Auguste Gires, Abdellah Ichiba, Laurent Monier, et al.. Multifractal Comparison of Reflectivity and Polarimetric Rainfall Data from C- and X-Band Radars and Respective Hydrological Responses of a Complex Catchment Model. Water, MDPI, 2018, 10 (3), pp.269. ⟨10.3390/w10030269⟩. ⟨hal-02058056⟩

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