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Modeling the Hydrological Regime of Turkana Lake (Kenya, Ethiopia) by Combining Spatially Distributed Hydrological Modeling and Remote Sensing Datasets

Abstract : Hydrological modeling in poorly gauged basins can benefit from the use of remote sensing datasets although there are challenges associated with the mismatch in spatial and temporal scales between catchment scale hydrological models and remote sensing products. We model the hydrological processes and long-term water budget of the Lake Turkana catchment, a transboundary basin between Kenya and Ethiopia, by integrating several remote sensing products into a spatially distributed and physically explicit model, Topkapi-ETH. Lake Turkana is the world largest desert lake draining a catchment of 145’500 km2. It has three main contributing rivers: the Omo river, which contributes most of the annual lake inflow, the Turkwel river, and the Kerio rivers, which contribute the remaining part. The lake levels have shown great variations in the last decades due to long-term climate fluctuations and the regulation of three reservoirs, Gibe I, II, and III, which significantly alter the hydrological seasonality. Another large reservoir is planned and may be built in the next decade, generating concerns about the fate of Lake Turkana in the long run because of this additional anthropogenic pressure and increasing evaporation driven by climate change. We consider different remote sensing datasets, i.e., TRMM-V7 for precipitation, MERRA-2 for temperature, as inputs to the spatially distributed hydrological model. We validate the simulation results with other remote sensing datasets, i.e., GRACE for total water storage anomalies, GLDAS-NOAH for soil moisture, ERA-Interim/Land for surface runoff, and TOPEX/Poseidon for satellite altimetry data. Results highlight how different remote sensing products can be integrated into a hydrological modeling framework accounting for their relative uncertainties. We also carried out simulations with the artificial reservoirs planned in the north part of the catchment and without any reservoirs, to assess their impacts on the catchment hydrological regime and the Lake Turkana level variability.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-01734813
Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 10:01:21 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 26, 2019 - 1:44:04 PM

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  • HAL Id : insu-01734813, version 1

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Daniela Anghileri, Alexandra Kaelin, Nadav Peleg, Simone Fatichi, Peter Molnar, et al.. Modeling the Hydrological Regime of Turkana Lake (Kenya, Ethiopia) by Combining Spatially Distributed Hydrological Modeling and Remote Sensing Datasets . American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2017, Dec 2017, New Orleans, United States. pp.H53J-1607. ⟨insu-01734813⟩

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