Aimed at mapping time variations in the Earth’s gravity field, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission is applicable to access terrestrial water storage (TWS), which mainly includes groundwater, soil moisture (SM), and snow. In this study, SM and accumulated snow water equivalent (SWE) are simulated by the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) land surface models (LSMs) and then used to isolate groundwater anomalies from GRACE-derived TWS in Pennsylvania and New York States of the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The monitoring well water-level records from the U.S. Geological Survey Ground-Water Climate Response Network from January 2005 to December 2011 are used for validation. The groundwater results from different combinations of GRACE products (from three institutions, CSR, GFZ and JPL) and GLDAS LSMs (CLM, NOAH and VIC) are compared and evaluated with in-situ
measurements. The intercomparison analysis shows that the solution obtained through removing averaged simulated SM and SWE of the three LSMs from the averaged GRACE-derived TWS of the three centers would be the most robust to reduce the noises, and increase the confidence consequently. Although discrepancy exists, the GRACE-GLDAS estimated groundwater variations generally agree with in-situ
observations. For monthly scales, their correlation coefficient reaches 0.70 at 95% confidence level with the RMSE of the differences of 2.6 cm. Two-tailed Mann-Kendall trend test results show that there is no significant groundwater gain or loss in this region over the study period. The GRACE time-variable field solutions and GLDAS simulations provide precise and reliable data sets in illustrating the regional groundwater storage variations, and the application will be meaningful and invaluable when applied to the data-poor regions.
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