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Water Storage, Net Precipitation, and Evapotranspiration in the Mackenzie River Basin from October 2002 to September 2009 Inferred from GRACE Satellite Gravity Data

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  • 1 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • | 2 Department of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
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Abstract

Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite gravity data are used to determine the variability of terrestrial water storage within the Mackenzie River basin from October 2002 to September 2009. During that period, it is estimated that there is no significant (7 yr) linear trend in the water storage after having accounted for postglacial rebound using the ICE-5G (VM2) ice sheet and Earth viscosity model. Errors in this model may alter this conclusion. The GRACE gravity data are also combined with precipitation and river discharge datasets to estimate trends in net precipitation and evapotranspiration in the basin. Net precipitation is seen to have a significant trend with a corresponding increase in river discharge. Evapotranspiration was found to be constant over the study period.

Corresponding author address: E. Morrow, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. E-mail: emorrow@fas.harvard.edu

Abstract

Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite gravity data are used to determine the variability of terrestrial water storage within the Mackenzie River basin from October 2002 to September 2009. During that period, it is estimated that there is no significant (7 yr) linear trend in the water storage after having accounted for postglacial rebound using the ICE-5G (VM2) ice sheet and Earth viscosity model. Errors in this model may alter this conclusion. The GRACE gravity data are also combined with precipitation and river discharge datasets to estimate trends in net precipitation and evapotranspiration in the basin. Net precipitation is seen to have a significant trend with a corresponding increase in river discharge. Evapotranspiration was found to be constant over the study period.

Corresponding author address: E. Morrow, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. E-mail: emorrow@fas.harvard.edu
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