Identifying Groundwater Recharge in Arid Regions

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Brian F Thomas, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States and James S Famiglietti, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States
Recharge epodicity in arid regions provides a method to estimate annual groundwater recharge given a relationship expressed as the recharge to precipitation ratio. Traditionally, in-situ observations are required to identify aquifer recharge events, while more advanced approaches such as the water-table fluctuation method or the episodic master recession method are necessary to delineate the recharge event. Our study uses the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) observations to estimate monthly changes in groundwater storage which are attributed to the combination of groundwater abstraction and episodic recharge in the arid southwestern United States. Our results illustrate the ability of remote sensing technologies to identify episodic groundwater recharge in arid regions which can be used within sustainable groundwater management frameworks to effectively manage groundwater resources.