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Title: Satellite-based monitoring of groundwater depletion in California’s Central Valley

Abstract

Range change data, obtained from Synthetic Aperture Radar satellites, form the basis for estimates of aquifer volume change in California's Central Valley. The estimation algorithm incorporates a function penalizing changes far from known well locations, linking the aquifer volume changes to agricultural, industrial, and municipal pumping within the Tulare basin. We show that the range changes are compatible with the hypothesis that the source of aquifer volume changes are variations in effective pressure around documented wells. Specifically, inclusion of the well distance penalty does not degrade the fit to the observations, inversions with and without it both give variance reductions of 99.6%. The patterns of aquifer volume change vary significantly from the drought year, between October 2015 and October 2016, to a wet year in 2017, and into 2018, a year with near average rainfall. The 2.3 million acre-feet of estimated volume reduction, a lower bound on the amount of water extracted from the basin between October 2015 and 2016, agrees with independent estimates of 1.8 and 2.3 million acre-feet. The aquifer volume reduction is also compatible with a loss of 3.1 km 3 (2.5 million acre-feet) in groundwater volume derived from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Chemical Sciences, Geosciences & Biosciences Division
OSTI Identifier:
1580414
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Vasco, Donald W., Farr, Tom G., Jeanne, Pierre, Doughty, Christine, and Nico, Peter. Satellite-based monitoring of groundwater depletion in California’s Central Valley. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-52371-7.
Vasco, Donald W., Farr, Tom G., Jeanne, Pierre, Doughty, Christine, & Nico, Peter. Satellite-based monitoring of groundwater depletion in California’s Central Valley. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-52371-7.
Vasco, Donald W., Farr, Tom G., Jeanne, Pierre, Doughty, Christine, and Nico, Peter. Tue . "Satellite-based monitoring of groundwater depletion in California’s Central Valley". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-52371-7. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1580414.
@article{osti_1580414,
title = {Satellite-based monitoring of groundwater depletion in California’s Central Valley},
author = {Vasco, Donald W. and Farr, Tom G. and Jeanne, Pierre and Doughty, Christine and Nico, Peter},
abstractNote = {Range change data, obtained from Synthetic Aperture Radar satellites, form the basis for estimates of aquifer volume change in California's Central Valley. The estimation algorithm incorporates a function penalizing changes far from known well locations, linking the aquifer volume changes to agricultural, industrial, and municipal pumping within the Tulare basin. We show that the range changes are compatible with the hypothesis that the source of aquifer volume changes are variations in effective pressure around documented wells. Specifically, inclusion of the well distance penalty does not degrade the fit to the observations, inversions with and without it both give variance reductions of 99.6%. The patterns of aquifer volume change vary significantly from the drought year, between October 2015 and October 2016, to a wet year in 2017, and into 2018, a year with near average rainfall. The 2.3 million acre-feet of estimated volume reduction, a lower bound on the amount of water extracted from the basin between October 2015 and 2016, agrees with independent estimates of 1.8 and 2.3 million acre-feet. The aquifer volume reduction is also compatible with a loss of 3.1 km3 (2.5 million acre-feet) in groundwater volume derived from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-019-52371-7},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}

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