Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 209–222 | Cite as

Estimation of the spatial rainfall distribution using inverse distance weighting (IDW) in the middle of Taiwan

  • Feng-Wen Chen
  • Chen-Wuing Liu


In this article, we used the inverse distance weighting (IDW) method to estimate the rainfall distribution in the middle of Taiwan. We evaluated the relationship between interpolation accuracy and two critical parameters of IDW: power (α value), and a radius of influence (search radius). A total of 46 rainfall stations and rainfall data between 1981 and 2010 were used in this study, of which the 12 rainfall stations belonging to the Taichung Irrigation Association (TIA) were used for cross-validation. To obtain optimal interpolation data of rainfall, the value of the radius of influence, and the control parameter-α were determined by root mean squared error. The results show that the optimal parameters for IDW in interpolating rainfall data have a radius of influence up to 10–30 km in most cases. However, the optimal α values varied between zero and five. Rainfall data of interpolation using IDW can obtain more accurate results during the dry season than in the flood season. High correlation coefficient values of over 0.95 confirmed IDW as a suitable method of spatial interpolation to predict the probable rainfall data in the middle of Taiwan.


Inverse distance weighting (IDW) Spatial interpolation Rainfall data Omission 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bioenvironmental Systems EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Agricultural Engineering Research CenterZhongliTaiwan

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