The spatio-temporal variability of groundwater storage in the Amazon River Basin - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew research repository
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The spatio-temporal variability of groundwater storage in the Amazon River Basin



In large Tropical River basins such as the Amazon, groundwater plays a major role in the water and ecological cycles with large influences on the rainforest ecosystems and climate variability. However, due to the lack of monitoring networks, Amazon groundwater storage and its variability remain poorly known. Here, we provide an unprecedented direct estimate of the spatio-temporal variations of the anomaly of groundwater storage over the period January 2003 -September 2010 in the Amazon Basin by decomposing the total terrestrial water storage measured by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission into the individual contributions of other hydrological reservoirs, using multi-satellite data for the surface waters and floodplains and models outputs for the soil moisture. We show that the seasonal variations of groundwater storage represent between 20 and 35% of the terrestrial water storage seasonal volume variations of the Amazon. Larger seasonal amplitudes of groundwater storage (>450 mm) are found in the Alter do Chão and Iça aquifers in the central part of the Amazon Basin. Anomalies of groundwater storage exhibit a strong interannual variability (STD reaching 120 mm along the central corridor) during the study period in response to hydrologic variability and climatic events such as the extreme drought that occurred in 2005. © 2018


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