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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-262
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-262
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 30 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Long-term Total Water Storage Change from a SAtellite Water Cycle (SAWC) reconstruction over large south Asian basins

Victor Pellet1,2, Filipe Aires1,2, Fabrice Papa3, Simon Munier4, and Bertrand Decharme4 Victor Pellet et al.
  • 1Laboratoire d'Études du Rayonnement et de la Matière en Astrophysique et Atmosphères, Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France
  • 2Estellus, Paris, France
  • 3Laboratoire d'Études en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales, IRD, Toulouse, France
  • 4CNRM-Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France

Abstract. The Total Water Storage Change (TWSC) over land is a major component of the global water cycle, with a large influence on climate variability, sea level budget and water resources availability for human life. Its first estimates at large-scale were made available with GRACE observations for the 2002–2016 period, followed since 2018 by the launch of GRACE-FO mission. In this paper, using an approach based on the water mass conservation rule, we proposed to merge satellite-based observations of precipitation and evapotranspiration along with in situ river discharge measurements to estimate TWSC over longer time periods (typically from 1980 to 2016), compatible with climate studies. We performed this task over five major Asian basins, subject to both large climate variability and strong anthropogenic pressure for water resources, and for which long term record of in situ discharge measurements are available. Our SAtellite Water Cycle (SAWC) reconstruction provides TWSC estimates very coherent in terms of seasonal and interannual variations with independent sources of information such as (1) TWSC GRACE-derived observations (over the 2002–2015 period), (2) ISBA-CTRIP model simulations (1980–2015), and (3) multi-satellite inundation extent (1993–2007). This analysis shows the advantages of the use of multiple satellite-derived data sets along with in situ data to perform hydrologically coherent reconstruction of missing water component estimate. It provides a new critical source of information for long term monitoring of TWSC and to better understand their critical role in the global and terrestrial water cycle.

Victor Pellet et al.
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Victor Pellet et al.
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Short summary
The water mass variation at and below the land surface is a major component of the water cycle that was first estimated using GRACE observations (2002–2017). Our analysis shows the advantages of the use of satellite observation for precipitation and evapotranspiration along with river discharge measurement to perform an indirect and coherent reconstruction of this water component estimate over longer time period.
The water mass variation at and below the land surface is a major component of the water cycle...
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