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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(8), 842; doi:10.3390/rs9080842

Long-Term Water Storage Changes of Lake Volta from GRACE and Satellite Altimetry and Connections with Regional Climate

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Center for Space Research, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78759, USA
Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Qiusheng Wu, Charles Lane, Melanie Vanderhoof, Chunqiao Song, Prashant K. Srivastava and Richard Gloaguen
Received: 8 July 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Climate Change and Water Resources)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6364 KB, uploaded 14 August 2017]   |  


Satellite gravity data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) provides a quantitative measure of terrestrial water storage (TWS) change at different temporal and spatial scales. In this study, we investigate the ability of GRACE to quantitatively monitor long-term hydrological characteristics over the Lake Volta region. Principal component analysis (PCA) is employed to study temporal and spatial variability of long-term TWS changes. Long-term Lake Volta water storage change appears to be the dominant long-term TWS change signal in the Volta basin. GRACE-derived TWS changes and precipitation variations compiled by the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) are related both temporally and spatially, but spatial leakage attenuates the magnitude of GRACE estimates, especially at small regional scales. Using constrained forward modeling, we successfully remove leakage error in GRACE estimates. After this leakage correction, GRACE-derived Lake Volta water storage changes agree remarkably well with independent estimates from satellite altimetry at interannual and longer time scales. This demonstrates the value of GRACE estimates to monitor and quantify water storage changes in lakes, especially in relatively small regions with complicated topography. View Full-Text
Keywords: GRACE; Lake Volta; water storage changes; precipitation; leakage error; forward modeling GRACE; Lake Volta; water storage changes; precipitation; leakage error; forward modeling

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ni, S.; Chen, J.; Wilson, C.R.; Hu, X. Long-Term Water Storage Changes of Lake Volta from GRACE and Satellite Altimetry and Connections with Regional Climate. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 842.

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