Daily GRACE satellite data evaluate short-term hydro-meteorological fluxes from global atmospheric reanalyses

Annette Eicker*, Laura Jensen, Viviana Wöhnke, Henryk Dobslaw, Andreas Kvas, Torsten Mayer-Gürr, Robert Dill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Changes in terrestrial water storage as observed by the satellite gravity mission GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) represent a new and completely independent way to constrain the net flux imbalance in atmospheric reanalyses. In this study daily GRACE gravity field changes are used for the first time to investigate high-frequency hydro-meteorological fluxes over the continents. Band-pass filtered water fluxes are derived from GRACE water storage time series by first applying a numerical differentiation filter and subsequent high-pass filtering to isolate fluxes at periods between 5 and 30 days corresponding to typical time-scales of weather system persistence at moderate latitudes. By comparison with the latest atmospheric reanalysis ERA5 of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECWMF) we show that daily GRACE gravity field models contain realistic high-frequency water flux information. Furthermore, GRACE-derived water fluxes can clearly identify improvements realized within ERA5 over its direct predecessor ERA-Interim particularly in equatorial and temperate climate zones. The documented improvements are in good agreement with rain gauge validation, but GRACE also identifies three distinct regions (Sahel Zone, Okavango Catchment, Kimberley Plateau) with a slight degradation of net-fluxes in ERA5 with respect to ERA-Interim, thereby highlighting the potentially added value of non-standard daily GRACE gravity series for hydro-meteorological monitoring purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4504
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date11 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Daily GRACE satellite data evaluate short-term hydro-meteorological fluxes from global atmospheric reanalyses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this