Environmental Earth Sciences

, 77:798 | Cite as

Numerical representation of rainfall field in basins of the Upper Jordan River and of the Yarmouk River

  • Isabella Shentsis
  • Nimrod InbarEmail author
  • Eliyahu Rosenthal
  • Fabien Magri
Thematic Issue
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Groundwater resources in a changing environment


A non-linear complex rain–elevation regression model is proposed for the numerical representation of rainfall field in an area with complex plain/mountainous topography, non-uniform distribution of rain gauge network and scarce data of observations. The model is applied to basins of the Upper Jordan River (of the Lake Kinneret) and of the Yarmouk River in which the major flow of the Jordan River is formed. The model is implemented in two steps: (1) study of the rainfall field, based on the average long-term (climatic) data, its description by the function of elevation and other factors, and optimization of model parameters (normalized coefficients of the Taylor series); and (2) estimation of rainfall in each historical year using the available data (less complete and irregular than climatic data) as well as a priori known parameters. The basic hypothesis is inter-annual stability of the model parameters. As a necessary primary stage, the Upper Jordan River (Lake Kinneret) Basin and the Yarmouk River Basin were divided, respectively, into seven and five regions, considering the specific regional relationships between the mean annual rain depth and elevation. It occurred that both basins are represented by a common system of rain–elevation curves as a single rain field where the mean annual rain increases with altitude and decreases from west to east and from north to south. For each region, the parameters of the model were optimized as a base for estimating the annual (month) rain (mean or yearly volume/depth) in each point of grid, in each basin (sub-basin) or in the whole watershed. The necessary condition is numerical presentation of the topography. Derived rain rates can serve as fundamental input data for numerical modeling of surface- and groundwater flow. This method can be applied to other areas at different temporal and spatial scales.


Upper Jordan River Yarmouk River Lake Kinneret Basin Rainfall field Model parameters 



Authors gratefully acknowledge the funding support from the DFG (Grant Ma4450/2) in the frame of the DFG program to support peaceful development in Middle East. Authors thank the Israel Meteorological Service, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (Jordan) and personally Dr. M. Raggad for providing the rain data. The late Dr. A. Spectorman contributed significantly to the numerical presentation of topography in the Kinneret basin area.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabella Shentsis
    • 1
  • Nimrod Inbar
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Eliyahu Rosenthal
    • 1
  • Fabien Magri
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Porter School of the Environment and Earth SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsAriel UniversityArielIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Geophysics and Space SciencesEastern R&D CenterArielIsrael
  4. 4.Department of Environmental InformaticsHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZLeipzigGermany
  5. 5.HydrogeologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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