Satellite groundwater measurements highlight drought, flood risks

By on June 18, 2013
Earth and Atmosphere News

A group of researchers from the University of California, Irvine are using gravity-measuring satellites to measure groundwater levels across the U.S., Popular Science reports.

The team bases their measurements on data collected by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites. Data maps show that the Northern U.S. is getting wetter, priming it for more flooding, and the Southern U.S. is getting drier.

The researchers say they can see a shift in groundwater levels from the current drought in the west, based on shifting of the Earth’s mass.

Data collected by the satellite is too coarse to make local predictions and is limited in accuracy to 125,000 square mile swaths of land or larger.

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