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Erratum published on 18 August 2018, see Remote Sens. 2018, 10(8), 1301.

Open AccessArticle

GRACE-Based Terrestrial Water Storage in Northwest China: Changes and Causes

State Key Laboratory Base of Eco-Hydraulic Engineering in Arid Area, Xi’an University of Technology, Xi’an 710048, China
School of Hydraulic Energy and Power Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225000, China
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
Department of Geography, University of Munich (LMU), 80333 Munich, Germany
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1163;
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Observations, Modeling, and Impacts of Climate Extremes)
PDF [3882 KB, uploaded 17 August 2018]


Monitoring variations in terrestrial water storage (TWS) is of great significance for the management of water resources. However, it remains a challenge to continuously monitor TWS variations using in situ observations and hydrological models because of a limited number of gauge stations and the complicated spatial distribution characteristics of TWS. In contrast, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) could overcome the aforementioned restrictions, providing a new reliable means of observing TWS variation. Thus, GRACE was employed to investigate TWS variations in Northwest China (NWC) between April 2002 and March 2016. Unlike previous studies, we focused on the interactions of multiple climatic and vegetational factors, and their combined effects on TWS variation. In addition, we also analyzed the relationship between TWS variations and socioeconomic water consumption. The results indicated that (i) TWS had obvious seasonal variations in NWC, and showed significant decreasing trends in most parts of NWC at the 95% confidence level; (ii) decreasing sunshine duration and wind speed resulted in an increase in TWS in Qinghai province, whereas the increasing air temperature, ameliorative vegetational coverage, and excessive groundwater withdrawal jointly led to a decrease in TWS in the other provinces of NWC; (iii) TWS variations in NWC had a good correlation with water storage variations in cascade reservoirs of the upper Yellow River; and (iv) the overall interactions between multiple climatic and vegetational factors were obvious, and the strong effects of some climatic and vegetational factors could mask the weak influences of other factors in TWS variations in NWC. Hence, it is necessary to focus on the interactions of multiple factors and their combined effects on TWS variations when exploring the causes of TWS variations. View Full-Text
Keywords: GRACE; terrestrial water storage; Northwest China; cross-wavelet transformation; Pearson correlation coefficient GRACE; terrestrial water storage; Northwest China; cross-wavelet transformation; Pearson correlation coefficient

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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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Xie, Y.; Huang, S.; Liu, S.; Leng, G.; Peng, J.; Huang, Q.; Li, P. GRACE-Based Terrestrial Water Storage in Northwest China: Changes and Causes. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1163.

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