Hydrological Reanalysis Across the 20th Century for the Amazon Basin


Adequate and accurate hydrological data is necessary to manage water resources, which are critical in developing countries where such information is limited. In recent years, global reanalysis data sets have been developed to provide this information in climatic fields and, more recently, in hydrologic fields. Nevertheless, these latest efforts have been limited to temporal coverage (∼30 years) and mostly simplified hydraulic scheme routing in rivers, which can be inadequate for regional and long term scale objectives. In this article, a data set (called hydrological reanalysis across the 20th century [HRXX] in the Amazon Basin) was developed as a case study spanning back to the year 1900 through the use of: 1) a large-scale hydrologic-hydrodynamic model (MGB) forced by a long-term climatic reanalysis of rainfall (ERA-20CM) with bias removed; and 2) a data assimilation (DA) technique coupled with a localization method (LEnKF) to use several ground observations of daily discharge within a radius of influence. Several tests were assessed to find the best bias removal method, the optimal radius of influence for the localization method and the final HRXX dataset. A total of 114 hydrological ground observations of daily information were used for assimilation and validation purposes, and several statistics indexes were employed to assess their performance. Results indicate that both bias correction and the DA with localization method greatly improved the simulations. Overestimations of the peaks in the open-loop (OL) (free run) simulation, mainly in the southern and northern regions of the Amazon Basin, were removed, and recession timing in the east-central region, as seen at the Óbidos gauge station, were corrected. An average performance of ∼0.6 and ∼0.7 of the Nash–Sutcliffe and Kling–Gupta indexes was reached, even when only a few of the longest ground observations were used, which can be representative of the oldest periods (since ∼1930). To assess extreme events, the Pearson correlation coefficient was used for maximum and minimum annual water level anomaly values, reaching 0.6 and 0.7, respectively, at the Manaus gauge station, which is remarkable considering that the analysis covers approximately 110 years. Considering the results of this case study and the global coverage of rainfall datasets, this methodology can be transferred to other regions in order to better estimate and create a hydrological reanalysis that adequately represents the hydrologic and hydraulic spatio-temporal fields.

Hydrographs in assimilation (blue circles) and validation (red triangles) gauges for in-situ observed discharge (blue lines), OL discharge (red lines), LEnKF
without bias removal (gray lines) and HRXX (dash black lines), over similar periods where observed record is partial available; and performance values are showed
for the HRXX.














Data set:

We make available the daily discharge data set of the Hydrological Reanalysis across the 20th Century for the Amazon Basin in its v1.0 version, which correspond to the HRXX_Amz.nc file.
The matrix of daily discharge contains 36890 columns (one per day, starting at 01Jan/1910) and 12466 rows (one per catchment).

Sly Wongchuig Correa
Rodrigo Cauduro Dias de Paiva
Vinícius Siqueira
Walter Collischonn



Institute of Hydraulic Research – (IPH/UFRGS) Brazil – November 2018

When using this data, please refer to the following paper:
Wongchuig, C.S.; Paiva, R.C.D.; Siqueira, V.; Collischonn, W. 2019. Hydrological Reanalysis Across the 20th Century: A Case Study of the Amazon Basin. Journal of Hydrology, vol. 570, p. 755-773. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.01.025