Groundwater monitored from space by GRACE

By on April 5, 2012

Those visiting New York City’s iconic Times Square can now check on what groundwater resources are like in their home town by simply looking up. Two video screens show a 30-second animation of variables that affect groundwater levels in different parts of the world. The data comes from GRACE, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s and German Aerospace Center’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment mission. GRACE incorporates a pair of satellites that scan the gravitational changes in the Earth caused by water movement on and beneath the ground, including snow, soil moisture and surface water.

The groundwater data from GRACE is important especially for areas that do not have the money or technology to monitor their water supply. GRACE has been gathering water data since 2002, showing that as global temperatures rise, evaporation and precipitation increase as well, but not consistently across the planet.

Read more at Circle of Blue.

Image credit: NASA.

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