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Water 2018, 10(4), 380;

Land Water-Storage Variability over West Africa: Inferences from Space-Borne Sensors

School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Hohai University, Jiangning Campus, Nanjing 211100, China
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Department of Geomatic Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Box, Kumasi AK000-AK911, Ghana
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Remote Sensing and GIS in Hydrology)
PDF [7843 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


The potential of terrestrial water storage (TWS) inverted from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) measurements to investigate water variations and their response to droughts over the Volta, Niger, and Senegal Basins of West Africa was investigated. An altimetry-imagery approach was proposed to deduce the contribution of Lake Volta to TWS as “sensed” by GRACE. The results showed that from April 2002 to July 2016, Lake Volta contributed to approximately 8.8% of the water gain within the Volta Basin. As the signal spreads out far from the lake, it impacts both the Niger and Senegal Basins with 1.7% (at a significance level of 95%). This figure of 8.8% for the Volta Basin is approximately 20% of the values reported in previous works. Drought analysis based on GRACE-TWS (after removing the lake’s contribution) depicted below-normal conditions prevailing from 2002 to 2008. Wavelet analysis revealed that TWS changes (fluxes) and rainfall as well as vegetation index depicted a highly coupled relationship at the semi-annual to biennial periods, with common power covariance prevailing in the annual frequencies. While acknowledging that validation of the drought occurrence and severity based on GRACE-TWS is needed, we believe that our findings shall contribute to the water management over West Africa. View Full-Text
Keywords: altimetry; drought; GRACE; land water storage; wavelet coherence altimetry; drought; GRACE; land water storage; wavelet coherence

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Ferreira, V.G.; Asiah, Z.; Xu, J.; Gong, Z.; Andam-Akorful, S.A. Land Water-Storage Variability over West Africa: Inferences from Space-Borne Sensors. Water 2018, 10, 380.

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