Downscaling TRMM Monthly Precipitation Using Google Earth Engine and Google Cloud Computing

Elnashar, A., H. Zeng, B. Wu, N. Zhang, F. Tian, M. Zhang, W. Zhu, N. Yan, Z. Chen, and Z. Sun, "Downscaling TRMM Monthly Precipitation Using Google Earth Engine and Google Cloud Computing", Remote Sensing, vol. 12, issue 23: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, pp. 3860, 2020.


Accurate precipitation data at high spatiotemporal resolution are critical for land and water management at the basin scale. We proposed a downscaling framework for Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation products through integrating Google Earth Engine (GEE) and Google Colaboratory (Colab). Three machine learning methods, including Gradient Boosting Regressor (GBR), Support Vector Regressor (SVR), and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) were compared in the framework. Three vegetation indices (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI; Enhanced Vegetation Index, EVI; Leaf Area Index, LAI), topography, and geolocation are selected as geospatial predictors to perform the downscaling. This framework can automatically optimize the models’ parameters, estimate features’ importance, and downscale the TRMM product to 1 km. The spatial downscaling of TRMM from 25 km to 1 km was achieved by using the relationships between annual precipitations and annually-averaged vegetation index. The monthly precipitation maps derived from the annual downscaled precipitation by disaggregation. According to validation in the Great Mekong upstream region, the ANN yielded the best performance when simulating the annual TRMM precipitation. The most sensitive vegetation index for downscaling TRMM was LAI, followed by EVI. Compared with existing downscaling methods, the proposed framework for downscaling TRMM can be performed online for any given region using a wide range of machine learning tools and environmental variables to generate a precipitation product with high spatiotemporal resolution

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