Stress Variation Caused by the Terrestrial Water Storage Inferred from GRACE Data

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Hang Yi, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China and Lianxing Wen, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, United States
We estimate stress variation caused by the terrestrial water storage (TWS) change from 2003 to 2013. We first infer the TWS change from the monthly gravity field change in the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). We then estimate the stress change at the Earth’s surface caused by elastic loading of mass change associated with the inferred TWS change.The monthly spherical harmonics of the GRACE gravity solutions are processed using a decorrelation filter and Gaussian smoothing, to suppress the noise in high degree and order, following the approach of Swenson and Wahr [2006] and Chen et al. [2007]. The gravity variation associated with the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is further removed from the GRACE solutions based on a geodynamical model by Paulson et al. [2007]. The inferred TWS changes exhibit a trend of increase from 2003 to 2013 in Amazon basin, southern Africa, the northern United State America (USA) and Queen Maud Land of Antarctica, and a trend of decrease in the same period in central Argentina, southern Chile, northern India, northern Iran, Alaska of the USA, Greenland and Marie Byrd Land of Antarctica.Surface stress variation due to the TWS loading is calculated, assuming an incompressible and self-gravitating Earth, with an elastic crust and a viscoelastic mantle overlying an inviscid core based on PREM model. We will present the geographical distribution of the stress variation caused by the TWS loading and discuss its possible implications.

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Paulson, A., S. J. Zhong, and J. Wahr (2007), Inference of mantle viscosity from GRACE and relative sea level data, Geophys J Int, 171(2), 497-508, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03556.x.

Swenson, S., and J. Wahr (2006), Post-processing removal of correlated errors in GRACE data, Geophys Res Lett, 33(8), doi:10.1029/2005GL025285.