Using enhanced GRACE water storage data to improve drought detection by the U.S. and North American Drought Monitors

Rasmus Houborg*, Matthew Rodell, Jay Lawrimore, Bailing Li, Rolf Reichle, Richard Heim, Matthew Rosencrans, Rich Tinker, James S. Famiglietti, Mark Svoboda, Brian Wardlow, Benjamin F. Zaitchik

*Corresponding author for this work

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

6 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 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. GRACE TWS data were assimilating into the Catchment Land Surface Model using an ensemble Kalman smoother enabling spatial and temporal downscaling and vertical decomposition into soil moisture and groundwater components. The Drought Monitors combine several short- and long-term drought indicators expressed in percentiles as a reference to their historical frequency of occurrence. To be consistent, we generated a climatology of estimated soil moisture and ground water based on a 60-year Catchment model simulation, which was used to convert seven years of GRACE assimilated fields into drought indicator percentiles. At this stage we provide a preliminary evaluation of the GRACE assimilated moisture and indicator fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2010 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2010
Pages710-713
Number of pages4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event2010 30th IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2010 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jul 25 2010Jul 30 2010

Publication series

NameInternational Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)

Other

Other2010 30th IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2010
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI
Period07/25/1007/30/10

Keywords

  • Data assimilation
  • Drought indicators
  • Drought monitor
  • GRACE
  • Terrestrial water storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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