In China, where some regions are over-reliant on groundwater, groundwater consumption is faster than replenishment, which results in a continuous decrease in the groundwater level. Here, we applied spatial and temporal methods to analyze the spatiotemporal variations in groundwater in China from GRACE, GRACE-FO, and GLDAS data. From a national perspective, groundwater storage showed a decreasing trend in northern China and an increasing trend in southern China. The results showed that the rates of groundwater depletion in North China, the Loess Plateau, and Northwest China were −10.09 ± 0.94, −10.05 ± 1.05, and –4.91 ± 0.28 mm y−1
equivalent height of water from 2003 to 2019, respectively. Furthermore, the groundwater in South China, the middle-lower Yangtze River, and the Ch-Yu region had a positive trend, with rates of 7.26 ± 1.51, 7.73 ± 1.35, and 3.61 ± 0.53 mm y−1
equivalent height of water, respectively. We also found that groundwater storage fluctuated slightly before 2016 on the Qinhai-Tibet Plateau and in Northeast China and decreased significantly after 2016. The Yun-Gui Plateau had a fluctuating trend. Investigating the spatiotemporal variation in groundwater storage in China can provide data for initiating regional ecological and environmental protection.
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