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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(8), 7379-7405; doi:10.3390/rs6087379

Application of the Regional Water Mass Variations from GRACE Satellite Gravimetry to Large-Scale Water Management in Africa

1
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), GET-UMR5563 CNRS/IRD/UPS, 14, Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
2
Groupe de Recherche en Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS), 14, Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
3
Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (OMP), GET-UMR5563 CNRS/IRD/UPS, 14, Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2014 / Revised: 16 July 2014 / Accepted: 18 July 2014 / Published: 7 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observation for Water Resource Management in Africa)
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Abstract

Time series of regional 2° × 2° Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) solutions of surface water mass change have been computed over Africa from 2003 to 2012 with a 10-day resolution by using a new regional approach. These regional maps are used to describe and quantify water mass change. The contribution of African hydrology to actual sea level rise is negative and small in magnitude (i.e., −0.1 mm/y of equivalent sea level (ESL)) mainly explained by the water retained in the Zambezi River basin. Analysis of the regional water mass maps is used to distinguish different zones of important water mass variations, with the exception of the dominant seasonal cycle of the African monsoon in the Sahel and Central Africa. The analysis of the regional solutions reveals the accumulation in the Okavango swamp and South Niger. It confirms the continuous depletion of water in the North Sahara aquifer at the rate of −2.3 km3/y, with a decrease in early 2008. Synergistic use of altimetry-based lake water volume with total water storage (TWS) from GRACE permits a continuous monitoring of sub-surface water storage for large lake drainage areas. These different applications demonstrate the potential of the GRACE mission for the management of water resources at the regional scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: GRACE satellite mission; regional water mass solutions; water resource management; NWSAS drought; African monsoon GRACE satellite mission; regional water mass solutions; water resource management; NWSAS drought; African monsoon
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ramillien, G.; Frappart, F.; Seoane, L. Application of the Regional Water Mass Variations from GRACE Satellite Gravimetry to Large-Scale Water Management in Africa. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 7379-7405.

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