Below the Surface: Data and Groundwater

Source: Climate Data Guide; D.SheaGRACE Tellus Dataset and Planet OSAs Planet OS continues to deliver streamlined access to high-quality weather, climate, and environmental data, we are excited to say that we offer this groundbreaking GRACE Tellus Dataset within our Datahub.Planet OS Visualization: Monthly Changes in CA Groundwater LevelsGRACE Tellus provides user-friendly Level-3 data grids of monthly surface mass changes, with most geophysical corrections applied, to analyze changes in the mass of the Earth’s hydrologic, cryospheric, and oceanographic components..Through the application of GRACE Level-2 data, with additional post-processing or potential ancillary data, one is able to generate gridded, location-specific products (monthly and time-averaged) with the most up-to-date corrections..With its capabilities to visualize parts of the Earth unseen, this dataset has revolutionized investigations regarding water reservoirs over land, ice, and oceans, as well as earthquakes and crustal deformations..The applications of this data can span from informing decisions on land-use and real estate development to answering urgent questions in agriculture, regional water production, and much more.Applying GRACE Tellus WorldwideUsing the Planet OS Datahub and the GRACE Tellus dataset, our Data Integration Engineer, Eneli Toodu created the below graphs that show the variations in groundwater levels in three different cities: Tallinn, Estonia; San Francisco, CA; and Nagpur, India.Each of these graphs shows changes in “Water Layer Equivalent” aka changes in the mass of the thin layer of water near the Earth’s surface..On the y-axis, we see this measurement in centimeters with the accompanying years from 2002–2017 on the x-axis..Additionally, each city has its own specific regional variables and reasons for the rising and falling of the water layer equivalent.In Tallinn, Estonia, the significant downward spike in 2002 could be connected to the synergistic relationship between high temperatures, a cyanobacterial bloom, and a significant fish die off..Whereas in San Francisco, California, the typical seasonal spikes with a greater overall decrease from 2013–2016 could be attributed to the drought that has affected the state for the past several years..In Nagpur, India on the other hand, we see typical variations due to changes in season and water demand for agricultural production.With the GRACE Tellus dataset on Planet OS, not only are we able to create monthly spatial visualizations and linear graphs, but we can observe long-term trends across an entire country..Pictured below, Data Integration and QA engineer Andres Luhamaa created an incredible visualization showing groundwater trends from 2002–2017 across the United States..This revelatory map illustrates a clear (and potentially concerning) decrease in groundwater supplies in the Southern United States for over the past decade.Each of these visuals tells an incredible story surrounding drought, regional water consumption, and changes in climate..As the GRACE mission took a hiatus at the end of 2017, it leaves a legacy of invaluable data and information..We are eagerly looking forward to publishing the data of the newly relaunched GRACE-FO satellite as soon as it becomes available.The information from missions like GRACE only scratches the surface of a plethora of potential investigations and research questions regarding satellite obtained data and understanding the availability of integral resources like groundwater.. More details

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