A decade of water storage changes across the contiguous United States From GPS and satellite gravity

TitleA decade of water storage changes across the contiguous United States From GPS and satellite gravity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAdusumilli S., Borsa A.A, Fish M.A, McMillan H.K, Silverii F.
Date Published2019/10
Type of ArticleArticle; Early Access
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000497051100001
Keywordsatmospheric rivers; california; climate-change; displacements; drought; enso; frequency; Geology; precipitation extremes; temperature; variability
Abstract

Increased climate variability is driving changes in water storage across the contiguous United States (CONUS). Observational estimates of these storage changes are important for validation of hydrological models and predicting future water availability. We estimate CONUS terrestrial water storage anomalies (TWSA) from 2007-2017 using Global Positioning System (GPS) displacements, constrained by lower-resolution TWSA observations from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite gravity-a combination that provides higher spatiotemporal resolution than previous estimates. The relative contribution of seasonal, interannual, and subseasonal TWSA varies widely across CONUS watersheds, with implications for regional water security. Separately, we find positive correlation between TWSA and the El Nino/Southern Oscillation in the southeastern Texas-Gulf and South Atlantic-Gulf watersheds and an unexpected negative correlation in the southwest. In the western United States, atmospheric rivers (ARs) drive a large fraction of subseasonal TWSA, with the top 5% of ARs contributing 73% of total AR-related TWSA increases. Key Points A novel combination of GPS and GRACE provides higher-resolution water storage than GRACE alone, improving water availability analysis The ratio of interannual to seasonal water storage change varies widely across the United States, highlighting local vulnerability to water stress Atmospheric river (AR) events drive rapid water storage increases across the West, with the top 5% of ARs contributing 73% of the AR total

DOI10.1029/2019gl085370
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