Next Article in Journal
Assessing the Spatial and Occupation Dynamics of the Brazilian Pasturelands Based on the Automated Classification of MODIS Images from 2000 to 2016
Next Article in Special Issue
Identifying Flood Events over the Poyang Lake Basin Using Multiple Satellite Remote Sensing Observations, Hydrological Models and In Situ Data
Previous Article in Journal
Effects of Heterogeneity within Tree Crowns on Airborne-Quantified SIF and the CWSI as Indicators of Water Stress in the Context of Precision Agriculture
Open AccessArticle

Monitoring Groundwater Storage Changes in the Loess Plateau Using GRACE Satellite Gravity Data, Hydrological Models and Coal Mining Data

by Xiaowei Xie 1, Caijun Xu 1,2,3,*, Yangmao Wen 1,2,3 and Wei Li 1
School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Collaborative Innovation Center of Geospatial Technology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 605;
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GRACE Facing the Challenge of Extreme Spatial and Temporal Scales)
Monitoring the groundwater storage (GWS) changes is crucial to the rational utilization of groundwater and to ecological restoration in the Loess Plateau of China, which is one of the regions with the most extreme ecological environmental damage in the world. In this region, the mass loss caused by coal mining can reach the level of billions of tons per year. For this reason, in this work, in addition to Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite gravity data and hydrological models, coal mining data were also used to monitor GWS variation in the Loess Plateau during the period of 2005–2014. The GWS changes results from different GRACE solutions, that is, the spherical harmonics (SH) solutions, mascon solutions, and Slepian solutions (which are the Slepian localization of SH solutions), were compared with in situ GWS changes, obtained from 136 groundwater observation wells, and the aim was to acquire the most robust GWS changes. The results showed that the GWS changes from mascon solutions (mascon-GWS) match best with in situ GWS changes, showing the highest correlation coefficient, lowest root mean square error (RMSE) values and nearest annual trend. Therefore, the Mascon-GWS changes are used for the spatial-temporal analysis of GWS changes. Based on which, the groundwater depletion rate of the Loess Plateau was −0.65 ± 0.07 cm/year from 2005–2014, with a more severe consumption rate occurring in its eastern region, reaching about −1.5 cm/year, which is several times greater than those of the other regions. Furthermore, the precipitation and coal mining data were used for analyzing the causes of the groundwater depletion: the results showed that seasonal changes in groundwater storage are closely related to rainfall, but the groundwater consumption is mainly due to human activities; coal mining in particular plays a major role in the serious groundwater consumption in eastern region of the study area. Our results will help in groundwater resource management, ecological restoration, and policy planning for coal mining and economic development. View Full-Text
Keywords: GRACE; groundwater; Loess Plateau; coal mining GRACE; groundwater; Loess Plateau; coal mining
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Xie, X.; Xu, C.; Wen, Y.; Li, W. Monitoring Groundwater Storage Changes in the Loess Plateau Using GRACE Satellite Gravity Data, Hydrological Models and Coal Mining Data. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 605.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop