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Integration of altimetric lake levels and GRACE gravimetry over Africa: Inferences for terrestrial water storage change 2003-2011

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Moore

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Abstract

Terrestrial water storage (TWS) change for 2003-2011 is estimated over Africa from GRACE gravimetric data. The signatures from change in water of the major lakes are removed by utilizing kernel functions with lake heights recovered from retracked ENVISAT satellite altimetry. In addition, the contribution of gravimetric change due to soil moisture and biomass is removed from the total GRACE signal by utilizing the GLDAS land surface model. The residual TWS time series, namely groundwater and the surface waters in rivers, wetlands, and small lakes, are investigated for trends and the seasonal cycle using linear regression. Typically, such analyses assume that the data are temporally uncorrelated but this has been shown to lead to erroneous inferences in related studies concerning the linear rate and acceleration. In this study, we utilize autocorrelation and investigate the appropriate stochastic model. The results show the proper distribution of TWS change and identify the spatial distribution of significant rates and accelerations. The effect of surface water in the major lakes is shown to contribute significantly to the trend and seasonal variation in TWS in the lake basin. Lake Volta, a managed reservoir in Ghana, is seen to have a contribution to the linear trend that is a factor of three greater than that of Lake Victoria despite having a surface area one-eighth of that of Lake Victoria. Analysis also shows the confidence levels of the deterministic trend and acceleration identifying areas where the signatures are most likely due to a physical deterministic cause and not simply stochastic variations.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Moore P, Williams SDP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water Resources Research

Year: 2014

Volume: 50

Issue: 12

Pages: 9696-9720

Print publication date: 31/12/2014

Online publication date: 31/12/2014

Acceptance date: 07/11/2014

ISSN (print): 0043-1397

ISSN (electronic): 1944-7973

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014WR015506

DOI: 10.1002/2014WR015506


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