EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Common high-frequency variations of water storage in remotely sensed soil moisture and daily satellite gravimetry

Daniel Blank1, Annette Eicker1, and Andreas Güntner2
Daniel Blank et al.
  • 1HafenCity University Hamburg, Geodesy and Geoinformatics, Hamburg, Germany (
  • 2Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany

Information on water storage changes in the soil can be obtained on a global scale from different types of satellite observations. While active or passive microwave remote sensing is limited to investigating the upper few centimeters of the soil, satellite gravimetry can detect changes in the full column of terrestrial water storage (TWS), but cannot distinguish between storage variations occurring in different soil depths. Jointly analyzing both data types promises interesting insights into the underlying hydrological dynamics and may enable a better process understanding of water storage change in the subsurface.

In this study, we investigate the global relationship of (1) several satellite soil moisture (SM) products and (2) non-standard daily TWS data from the GRACE and GRACE-FO satellite gravimetry missions on a sub-monthly time scale. The analysis of these GRACE data on a daily basis could be beneficial for identifying hydro-climatic extreme events such as heavy precipitation or flood events that occur on a sub-monthly basis.

We sample all TWS and SM data sets to a common 1 degree spatial resolution and decompose each signal to sub-monthly frequencies by high-pass filtering. We find increasingly large correlations between the TWS and SM for deeper SM integration depths (root zone vs. surface layer). Even for high-pass-filtered (sub-monthly) variations, significant correlations of up to 0.6 can be found in regions with large high-frequency variability. Time spans with particularly large signal variability, that might hint at extreme events, are identified and compared in both in the TWS and the SM time series. Precipitation data were added to the analysis to provide further evidence for the causes/generation of SM and TWS variations.

How to cite: Blank, D., Eicker, A., and Güntner, A.: Common high-frequency variations of water storage in remotely sensed soil moisture and daily satellite gravimetry, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5888,, 2023.