Publication Abstracts

Papa et al. 2010

Papa, F., F. Durand, W.B. Rossow, A. Rahman, and S. Bala, 2010: Satellite altimeter-derived monthly discharge of the Ganga-Brahmaputra River and its seasonal to interannual variations from 1993 to 2008. J. Geophys. Res., 115, C12013, doi:10.1029/2009JC006075.

The Ganga-Brahmaputra accounts for ∼25% of the total amount of freshwater received by the Bay of Bengal. Using daily in situ river discharge data along with altimetry-derived river heights, the present study aims to produce a monthly dataset of altimetry-derived Ganga-Brahmaputra river discharge at the river mouths for 1993-2008. First, we estimate the standard error of ENVISAT-derived water levels over the Ganga to be 0.26m, much smaller than the range of variability of ∼7 m, and consistent with the accuracy of altimeter measurements over large rivers. We then establish rating curves between altimetry-derived water levels and in situ river discharges and show that TOPEX-Poseidon, ERS-2 and ENVISAT data can successfully be used to infer Ganga and Brahmaputra discharge. The mean error on the estimated daily discharge derived from altimetry ranges from ∼15% (∼4700 m3/s) using TOPEX-Poseidon over the Brahmaputra to ∼36% (∼9000 m3/s) using ERS-2 over the Ganga. Combined Ganga-Brahmaputra monthly discharges for 1993-2008 are presented, showing a mean error of ∼17% (∼2700 m3/s), within the range (15-20%) of acceptable accuracy for discharge measurements. During 2004-2008, we assess the variability of the estimate against precipitation and river heights records. Finally, we present a basic approach to infer Ganga-Brahmaputra monthly discharge at the river mouths. The upscaled discharge exhibits a marked interannual variability with a standard deviation in excess of ∼12500 m3/s, much larger than the dataset uncertainty. This new dataset represents an unprecedented source of information to quantify continental freshwater forcing flux into Indian Ocean circulation models.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{pa08300g,
  author={Papa, F. and Durand, F. and Rossow, W. B. and Rahman, A. and Bala, S.},
  title={Satellite altimeter-derived monthly discharge of the Ganga-Brahmaputra River and its seasonal to interannual variations from 1993 to 2008},
  year={2010},
  journal={J. Geophys. Res.},
  volume={115},
  pages={C12013},
  doi={10.1029/2009JC006075},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - pa08300g
AU  - Papa, F.
AU  - Durand, F.
AU  - Rossow, W. B.
AU  - Rahman, A.
AU  - Bala, S.
PY  - 2010
TI  - Satellite altimeter-derived monthly discharge of the Ganga-Brahmaputra River and its seasonal to interannual variations from 1993 to 2008
JA  - J. Geophys. Res.
VL  - 115
SP  - C12013
DO  - 10.1029/2009JC006075
ER  -

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