Development of a Daily GRACE Mascon Solution for Terrestrial Water Storage

Croteau, M., R. Nerem, B. D. Loomis, and T. Sabaka (2020), Development of a Daily GRACE Mascon Solution for Terrestrial Water Storage, J. Geophys. Res., 125, e2019JB018468, doi:10.1029/2019JB018468.

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE-Follow On missions have provided a global history of terrestrial water storage changes since 2002. Traditional GRACE products resolve monthly time-variable gravity at spatial resolutions of 300–500 km, with many recent efforts focusing on regularized mass concentration (mascon) solutions to better resolve signals spatially. However, monthly resolution inhibits the applicability of GRACE to investigations of sub-monthly signals. This study presents a new daily mass change solution estimated as deviations from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) converged monthly mascon product and quantifies the fundamental trade-off between temporal and spatial resolution in GRACE-only solutions. As an iteration of the GSFC product, this daily solution represents a mixing of monthly information at higher relative spatial resolution with daily information at lower relative spatial resolution, resolving each temporal scale at the best resolution achievable without requiring hydrological model dependencies in the estimation. The resolution of the daily mascons is 300–400 km at high latitudes and 600–1,000 km lower, depending on each daily orbital track and the proximity of each mascon to constraint region boundaries (e.g., coastlines). Through simulations and model comparisons, we demonstrate that daily signals over areas larger than 400,000 km2 are recoverable, with basins larger than 800,000 km2 exhibiting strong signal recovery relative to leakage. This analysis establishes baselines for daily signal recovery from GRACE in the context of longer time scale solutions, characterizes leakage inherent in daily GRACE information, and creates new opportunities for applying GRACE to investigations of sub-monthly signals.

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Earth Surface & Interior Program (ESI)