Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The impact of different rainfall products on landscape modelling simulations

Skinner, Christopher J.; Peleg, Nadav; Quinn, Niall; Coulthard, Tom J.; Molnar, Peter; Freer, Jim


Christopher J. Skinner

Nadav Peleg

Niall Quinn

Peter Molnar

Jim Freer


Rainfall products can contain significantly different spatiotemporal estimates, depending on their underlying data and final constructed resolution. Commonly used products, such as rain gauges, rain gauge networks, and weather radar, differ in their information content regarding intensities, spatial variability, and natural climatic variability, therefore producing different estimates. Landscape evolution models (LEMs) simulate the geomorphic changes in landscapes, and current models can simulate timeframes from event level to millions of years and some use rainfall inputs to drive them. However, the impact of different rainfall products on LEM outputs has never been considered. This study uses the STREAP rainfall generator, calibrated using commonly used rainfall observation products, to produce longer rainfall records than the observations to drive the CAESAR‐Lisflood LEM to examine how differences in rainfall products affect simulated landscapes. The results show that the simulation of changes to basin geomorphology is sensitive to the differences between rainfall products, with these differences expressed linearly in discharges but non‐linearly in sediment yields. Furthermore, when applied over a 1500‐year period, large differences in the simulated long profiles were observed, with the simulations producing greater sediment yields showing erosion extending further downstream. This suggests that the choice of rainfall product to drive LEMs has a large impact on the final simulated landscapes. The combination of rainfall generator model and LEMs represents a potentially powerful method for assessing the impacts of rainfall product differences on landscapes and their short‐ and long‐term evolution.


Skinner, C. J., Peleg, N., Quinn, N., Coulthard, T. J., Molnar, P., & Freer, J. (in press). The impact of different rainfall products on landscape modelling simulations. Earth surface processes and landforms : the journal of the British Geomorphological Research Group,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 14, 2020
Online Publication Date May 14, 2020
Deposit Date Jun 22, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 22, 2020
Journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Print ISSN 0197-9337
Electronic ISSN 1096-9837
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Landscape evolution; Weather generator; Numerical modelling; Rainfall; Uncertainty
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 2019-06-21; Accepted: 2020-04-29; Published: 2020-05-14


Published article (2.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2020 The Authors. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations