Mapping groundwater level and aquifer storage variations from InSAR measurements in the Madrid aquifer, Central Spain
Groundwater resources are under stress in many regions of the world and the future water supply for many populations, particularly in the driest places on Earth, is threatened. Future climatic conditions and population growth are expected to intensify the problem. Understanding the factors that control groundwater storage variation is crucial to mitigate its adverse consequences. In this work, we apply satellite-based measurements of ground deformation over the Tertiary detritic aquifer of Madrid (TDAM), Central Spain, to infer the spatio-temporal evolution of water levels and estimate groundwater storage variations. Specifically, we use Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) data during the period 1992-2010 and piezometric time series on 19 well sites covering the period 1997-2010 to build groundwater level maps and quantify groundwater storage variations. Our results reveal that groundwater storage loss occurred in two different periods, 1992-1999 and 2005-2010 and was mainly concentrated in a region of ∼200 km2. The presence of more compressible materials in that region combined with a long continuous water extraction can explain this volumetric deficit. This study illustrates how the combination of PSI and piezometric data can be used to detect small aquifers affected by groundwater storage loss helping to improve their sustainable management.