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IGCP 565: Supporting water resource management with improved Earth observations ...

Workshop 4 (November 21-22, 2011):

Documentation and Output:


IGCP 565 Project Workshops

IGCP 565 Workshop 4: Integration of geodetic observations and products in models of the hydrological cycle
Support for water management through hydrological models and data assimilation

November 21-22, 2011
Johannesburg, South Africa

Standard and non-standard GRACE products for hydrology

Jürgen Kusche
Astronomical, Physical and Mathematical Geodesy Group, Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn, Nussallee 17, D-53115 Bonn, Germany 

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission, a collaboration of NASA and the German Aerospace Centre DLR, provides K-band ranging and GPS tracking data since 2002. From these data, three official analysis centres (GFZ Potsdam, CSR/UT and JPL) routinely compute monthly global gravity models, which can be subsequently converted to maps of total water storage anomalies at spatial resolution of few hundred kilometres. These maps have found numerous applications in studying the water cycle and sea level and, in particular, in supporting large-scale hydrological modelling. GRACE level-2 data products are distributed with latencies of 6-12 weeks in form of sets of spherical harmonic coefficients with a maximum resolution of degree/order 120. However, next to these standard products a number of groups (including the above mentioned and the University of Bonn) compute non-standard data products that are provided at higher temporal resolution, are tailored to specific regions or exhibit less noise in general due to specific post-processing. In my talk I will first illustrate the application of GRACE standard and non-standard products for supporting hydrological and hydro-meteorological modelling. Then, I will discuss the potential and limitations of future satellite gravity / mass transport missions that are currently under investigation.