Hydro-climatology study of the Ogooué River basin using hydrological modeling and satellite altimetry

Bogning, Sakaros ; Frappart, Frederic ; Paris, Adrien ; Blarel, Fabien ; Niño, Fernando ; Saux Picart, Stéphane ; Lanet, Pauline ; Seyler, Frederique ; Mahé, Gil ; Onguene, Raphael ; Bricquet, Jean-Pierre ; Etame, Jacques ; Paiz, Marie-Claire ; Braun, Jean-Jacques

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<p align=justify>Hydrological models are important tools for the simulation of water storage and hydrological fluxes in large basins and complex river systems. The hydrological models can compensate the lack of observed data in ungauged basins. In this study, the hydrological model of large basins MGB (for Model of Large Basins in Portuguese) is used to evaluate the hydrological processes of the Ogooué River Basin (ORB), which has been mostly unmonitored for about three decades. Simulations were carried out over an 18-year period from 1998 to 2015 using TRMM 3B42 daily rainfall data from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) as forcing and in situ and altimetry-based river discharges from Envisat, Saral Altika and Jason-2 for calibration and validation. The results of the model were in good agreement with the flows measured at stations upstream and downstream of the Ogooué basin (Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) > 0.56 for all calibration gauges). The MGB model efficiently describes the seasonal and interannual variations of the flow in the Ogooué River and its major tributaries which were found to be highly correlated to the rainfall (r ranging from 0.72 to 0.90 and 0.56 to 0.87 at seasonal and interannual time-scales respectively). Interannual variations of precipitation and river discharge of the ORB are linked to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean and southeastern tropical Atlantic Niño. Also, the Ogooué River discharge was found to be strongly correlated with Sea Surface Temperature (SST) at annual and semi-annual time-scales.</p>
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