Monthly assessment of TRMM 3B43 rainfall data with high-density gauge stations over Tunisia

  • Emna MedhioubEmail author
  • Moncef Bouaziz
  • Hammadi Achour
  • Samir Bouaziz
Original Paper


Rainfall data are essential for many environmental applications; however, such data are sparse or not available. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) products are widely used to estimate the rainfall over 75% of the earth and with a spatial resolution of 0.25° (approximately 28 km). The present study was carried out to examine the reliability of remote sensing rainfall data from TRMM data over four governorates (i.e., Gabes, Jendouba, Nabeul, and Kasserine) in Tunisia. Among the TRMM available database, the used data are the monthly products TRMM-3B43 version 7. Two different approaches were conducted to assess the accuracy of satellite rainfall data. The first one is the punctual rainfall control approach, which is based on the calculation of the difference between rainfall data from the TRMM-3B43 product and the ground truth measurements. To do this, we used 149 rainfall stations spread over Tunisia for a period of 16 years (1998–2013). The second approach is based on the spatial autocorrelation analysis of bias between TRMM data and in situ data. Results indicated a good correlation (r≈0.8) between TRMM-3B43data and those derived from weather stations. The highest correlations (r > 0.88) are shown in Jendouba and Nabeul governorates, while Kasserine and Gabes have registered the lowest correlations, with 0.709 and 0.714, respectively. Overall, TRMM remote sensing products tend to overestimate ground precipitation measurements due to the high influence of orographic and climatic parameters on the precipitation accuracy assessment.


TRMM Precipitation Accuracy assessment Tunisia 



The authors express gratitude to Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) and Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) for financial assistance of the research. Authors are also thankful to the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the TRMM data. A special thanks is still given to the Regional Agricultural Development Commissariats for the ground rainfall measurements used as reference to validate the satellite data.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire 3E, Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de SfaxUniversité de SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Faculty of environmental sciences, TU-DresdenInstitute of GeographyDresdenGermany
  3. 3.Université de JendoubaInstitut Sylvo-pastoral de TabarkaJendoubaTunisia
  4. 4.Unité de recherche « Géomatique des Géosystèmes » 02/UR/10-01Université de la MannoubaMannoubaTunisia

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