Water balance standardization approach for reconstructing runoff using gps at the basin upstream

Hok Sum Fok, Linghao Zhou, Yongxin Liu, Robert Tenzer, Zhongtian Ma, Fang Zou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


While in-situ estuarine discharge has been correlated and reconstructed well with localized remotely-sensed data and hydraulic variables since the 1990s, its correlation and reconstruction using averaged GPS-inferred water storage from satellite gravimetry (i.e., GRACE) at the basin upstream based on the water balance standardization (WBS) approach remains unexplored. This study aims to illustrate the WBS approach for reconstructing monthly estuarine discharge (in the form of runoff (R) at Mekong River Delta, by correlating the averaged GPS-inferred water storage from GRACE of the upstream Mekong Basin with the in-situ R at the Mekong River Delta estuary. The resulting R based on GPS-inferred water storage is comparable to that inferred from GRACE, regardless of in-situ stations within Mekong River Delta being used for the R reconstruction. The resulting R from the WBS approach with GPS water storage converted by GRACE mascon solution attains the lowest normalized root-mean-square error of 0.066, and the highest Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.974 and Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency of 0.950. Regardless of using either GPS-inferred or GRACE-inferred water storage, the WBS approach shows an increase of 1-4% in accuracy when compared to those reconstructed from remotely-sensed water balance variables. An external assessment also exhibits similar accuracies when examining the R estimated at another station location. By comparing the reconstructed and estimated Rs between the entrance and the estuary mouth, a relative error of 1-4% is found, which accounts for the remaining effect of tidal backwater on the estimated R. Additional errors might be caused by the accumulated errors from the proposed approach, the unknown signals in the remotely-sensed water balance variables, and the variable time shift across different years between the Mekong Basin at the upstream and the estuary at the downstream.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1767
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • GPS estuarine discharge
  • Water balance standardization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Water balance standardization approach for reconstructing runoff using gps at the basin upstream'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this