What do we know about high-altitude precipitation in the semi-arid Andes of Chile?
Bourgin P, Andreassian V, Gascoin S, Valery A.
Mapping precipitations on a regular grid is often required for hydrological and ecological modelling. The spatial interpolation methods are generally used to estimate such a distribution from ground-based measurements. In the case of mountainous areas, the estimation of precipitation amounts is still a challenging task and the results of spatial interpolation should be verified as much as possible. Here we describe a three-steps method for the validation of a precipitation map. This is used in the context of a mountainous semi-arid region, the Norte Chico in Chile (26°S-32°S). The implementation of this validation method showed the benefits of an interpolation method developed by Valéry  for mountainous areas. The hydrological balance of the high-altitude watersheds is now more realistic.
Precipitation, spatial interpolation method, extrapolation, altitude, altitudinal corrections, validation, water equivalent, water balance.