Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $4,210 Total Non-Federal Funds: $12,939
Principal Investigators: Xiaodong Zhang
Abstract: Most of the previous works of drought monitoring are based on water in the top soil layer. Since droughts in deeper layer tend to be more persistent, and in some cases more severe, the lack or excess of water in the top layer soil may not be representative of the entire water storage situation over the land. Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), measuring the earths gravity change, can provide the information on water storage change in the entire terrestrial layer including surface water, soil moisture and ground water. There is growing confidence that information provided by the GRACE satellites can enhance data inputs in the U.S. and North American Drought Monitors. This study will examine the reliability of GRACE terrestrial water storage data and a land surface model, NOAH, for drought monitoring and prediction at the continental scale and to combine the two datasets to improve accuracy of drought prediction. The anticipated results include 1) development of a drought monitoring and predicting capability that can be used not only for agricultural drought (top soil layer) but for the deep ground water deficit as well; 2) study of the drought dynamics particularly the interaction between top and deep layers of soil; and 3) application of the developed model for drought monitoring and mitigation. Producers, particularly those in the Midwest where droughts are frequent, can benefit significantly if the occurrence of a drought can be predicted.