Rain gauge networks are crucial for enhancing the spatio‐temporal characterization of precipitation. In tropical regions, scarcity of rain gauge data, climatic variability, and variable spatial accessibility make conventional approaches to design rain gauge networks inadequate and impractical. In this study, we propose the use of conditioned Latin hypercube sampling (cLHS) method with multi‐temporal layers of remotely sensed precipitation measurements for capturing the spatio‐temporal precipitation patterns in ungauged areas. The study was conducted in the Amazon region of Ecuador, for which monthly precipitation averages were derived based on a 16‐year period of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM 3B43 V7) data which were used as prior information to select representative sampling points through cLHS. Two scenarios for the sampling design were considered and evaluated, one without and one with restrictions on accessible sites according to the proximity to roads and settlements. Results showed that both optimized networks captured the variability of precipitation according to the TRMM climatology. Furthermore, evaluation against an independent satellite precipitation data set showed that the optimized networks support mapping precipitation based on ordinary kriging (OK). Comparison with regular and random sampling methods showed that particularly when a practical scenario is considered, the optimized network provided more reliable results over time, highlighting the suitability of the network to capture temporal changes and map precipitation with high accuracy. The proposed approach could be easily adopted in other ungauged and poorly accessible regions for rain gauge network design as well as to the design of multi‐objective monitoring networks.
Contreras, J., Ballari, D., De Bruin, S., & Samaniego, E. (2019). Rainfall monitoring network design using conditioned Latin hypercube sampling and satellite precipitation estimates: An application in the ungauged Ecuadorian Amazon. International Journal of Climatology, 39(4), 2209-2223. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.5946