Monitoring Groundwater Variations Using Precise Gravimetry on Land and from Space

  • Yoichi Fukuda


In order to establish a new technique for monitoring the groundwater variations, we investigated the applicability of precise in-situ gravity measurements and the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity data. A new scheme for in-situ measurements that combines absolute and relative gravity measurements as well as GPS measurements has been proposed to monitor groundwater variation and associated land subsidence as well. For this purpose, we introduced a portable type absolute gravimeter (Micro-G LaCoste Inc. A10) which can be used for field surveys. We conducted several test surveys and confirmed that the gravimeter can achieve a 10 μgal (100 nm/s2) or better accuracy in the field surveys. GRACE is providing extremely high precision gravity field data from space. These data are precise enough to reveal the gravity changes due to large scale groundwater variations. Using the GRACE data, we estimated terrestrial water storage (TWS) variations in the Indochina Peninsula. The results showed good agreements with Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (SVATS) models basically. The agreements can be improved by tuning the model parameters such as current velocity of river flow. It means that the GRACE TWS can be used as a constraining condition of the models. We also detected the mass trends in the Indochina Peninsula and the gravity changes due to the 2006 drought in Australia. This suggested that GRACE data should be applicable for monitoring secular or long-term groundwater variations at the continental scale as well. Finally, as a future prospection, we discuss the role of hydrological models which connect in-situ and satellite observations.


Land Subsidence Gravity Change Gravity Measurement Indochina Peninsula Absolute Gravity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeophysicsKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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