Publication record details

Title Developing a preliminary recharge model of the Nile Basin to help interpret GRACE data
Ref no OR/09/018
Author Bonsor, H.C.; Mansour, M.M.; Hughes, A.G.; MacDonald, A.M.; Hipkin, R.
Year of publication 2009
Abstract GRACE data provides a new and exciting opportunity to gain a direct and independent measure of water mass variation on a regional scale, but the data must be combined with hydrological modelling to indicate in which part of the water cycle the mass change has occurred. Processing GRACE data through a series of spectral filters indicates a seasonal variation to gravity mass (±0.005 mGal) thought to relate to the downstream movement of water in the catchment, and delayed storage from groundwater, following the wet season in the upper catchment. To help interpret these data a groundwater recharge model was developed for the Nile Catchment using the model ZOODRM (a distributed modelling code for calculating spatial and temporal variations in groundwater recharge). ZOODRM was an appropriate model to use for this work, due to the lower data demands of the model, relative to other groundwater models, the ability of the model to use entirely remotely-sensed input data, and the added functionality of runoff routing. Rainfall (NOAA data) and ET data were sourced from the FEWS NET African Data Dissemination Service. Geological data was sourced from the digital geology map of the world, landuse data from the USGS and the DEM data from ESRI. Initial model results indicate groundwater recharge across the basin of 0-4mma-1, with obvious considerable spatial variability. The results indicate the importance of groundwater in storing rainfall, and releasing it slowly throughout the year in different parts of the catchment. Only by modelling this process can GRACE data be reliably interpreted hydrologically. Despite only a qualitative interpretation of the GRACE data having been achieved within this preliminary study, the work has indicated that the ZOODRM model can be used with entirely remotely-sensed data, and that sufficient data exists for the Nile Basin to construct a plausible recharge model. Future work is now required to properly calibrate the model to enable closer comparison of the Nile GRACE data.
Publisher British Geological Survey
Place of publication Nottingham, UK
Series Open Reports
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