Estimating profile soil moisture and groundwater variations using GRACE and Oklahoma Mesonet soil moisture data

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Abstract

[1] In this study we estimate a time series of regional groundwater anomalies by combining terrestrial water storage estimates from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission with in situ soil moisture observations from the Oklahoma Mesonet. Using supplementary data from the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (DOE ARM) network, we develop an empirical scaling factor with which to relate the soil moisture variability in the top 75 cm sampled by the Mesonet sites to the total variability in the upper 4 m of the unsaturated zone. By subtracting this estimate of the full unsaturated zone soil moisture anomalies, we arrive at a time series of groundwater anomalies, spatially averaged over a region approximately 280,000 km2 in area. Results are compared to observed well level data from a larger surrounding region, and show consistent phase and relative inter-annual variability.

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