Integrating enhanced GRACE terrestrial water storage data into the U.S. and North American Drought Monitors

Rasmus Houborg*, Matthew Rodell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites measure time variations of the Earth's gravity field enabling reliable detection of spatio-temporal variations in total terrestrial water storage (TWS), including groundwater. The U.S. and North American Drought Monitors are two of the premier drought monitoring products available to decision-makers for assessing and minimizing drought impacts, but they rely heavily on precipitation indices and do not currently incorporate systematic observations of deep soil moisture and groundwater storage conditions. Thus GRACE has great potential to improve the Drought Monitors by filling this observational gap. Horizontal, vertical and temporal disaggregation of the coarse-resolution GRACE TWS data has been accomplished by assimilating GRACE TWS anomalies into the Catchment Land Surface Model using an ensemble Kalman smoother. The Drought Monitors combine several short-term and long-term drought indices and indicators expressed in percentiles as a reference to their historical frequency of occurrence for the location and time of year in question. To be consistent, we are in the process of generating a climatology of estimated soil moisture and ground water based on a 60-year Catchment model simulation which will subsequently be used to convert seven years of GRACE assimilated fields into soil moisture and groundwater percentiles, for systematic incorporation into the objective blends that constitute Drought Monitor baselines. At this stage we provide a preliminary evaluation of GRACE assimilated Catchment model output against independent datasets including soil moisture observations from Aqua AMSR-E and groundwater level observations from the U.S. Geological Survey's Groundwater Climate Response Network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Annual Conference 2010
Subtitle of host publicationOpportunities for Emerging Geospatial Technologies
Pages295-300
Number of pages6
Volume1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventAmerican Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Annual Conference 2010: Opportunities for Emerging Geospatial Technologies - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 26 2010Apr 30 2010

Other

OtherAmerican Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Annual Conference 2010: Opportunities for Emerging Geospatial Technologies
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period04/26/1004/30/10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computers in Earth Sciences

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