GRACE Monitoring of Groundwater over Ireland

Project AttributeProject Details
Project TitleGRACE Monitoring of Groundwater over Ireland
EPA Project Code2018-W-DS-33
Lead OrganisationNational University of Ireland Galway (NUIG)
CoordinatorAaron Golden
EPA Research 2014 – 2020 Theme(s)Water: Theme 4: Understanding, Managing and Conserving our Water Resources
EPA Research Pillars
Project Start and End DatesStart: 01/02/2019
End (if applicable): 31/01/2020
Revised End Date (if applicable): 01/07/2020
EPA Project TypeDesk Study
EPA Award TypeSTRIVE – Project Based Awards
Current Project StatusGrant Awarded
Total Funding Amount87648.60
Project Abstract/DescriptionThe Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment-Follow On (GRACE-FO) mission utilise a pair of co-orbiting spacecraft whose variation in position between them as they track the same orbit meridian allows researchers to map gravitational anomalies on the Earth’s surface. Over land, once corrected for geological and atmospheric effects, the dominant anomaly signature is from variations in terrestrial ground water bodies, and the GRACE missions have been incredibly successful in characterising changes in large/continental scale aquifers. Application to more local aquifer bodies are limited by GRACE spatial resolution, roughly 1 square degree at the equator. Given sufficiently sampled ground well levels within GRACE resolution scale, combined with local climatic and soil data, mapping of ground water storage changes at 10s of km spatial scale have been achieved, using machine learning techniques. The GRAIL project proposes to assess the feasibility of such an approach for the island of Ireland, using GRACE data products and similar climatic/soil/ground water level information provided by existing and on-going EPA/GSI programmes. GRAIL will yield the following expected outputs: – a report documenting from the EPA/GSI perspective the feasibility of downscaling GRACE data to map ground water changes in an Irish context – a report detailing the completed software infrastructure, the basis for its operation, the data utilized, ways and means of interpreting results – a report containing downscaled GRACE derived ground water storage variations sampled at a monthly cadence between 2002-2010 – a web resource documenting same – one peer-reviewed manuscript documenting the GRAIL project in the context of downscaling GRACE data products to infer ground water storage changes across Ireland between 2002-2010 – one peer-reviewed manuscript documenting the machine learning methodologies and software stack utilized to implement a GRACE downscaling project to a regional geographical context – one peer-review conference abstract contribution to the 2019 Fall AGU Meeting detailing the GRAIL project – a data archive hosting both monthly maps (in GeoTIFF) and predicted/measured ground water levels (in JSON) format, for inclusion in existing EPA/GSI online repositories – a github site hosting the first stable release of the GRAIL software stack, available for ‘turn-key’ installation on a range of computing platforms
EPA Scientific OfficerLisaJohnson

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