Study on the inter-annual hydrology-induced deformations in Europe using GRACE and hydrological models
Earth's crust deforms in various time and spatial resolutions. To estimate them, geodetic observations are widely employed and compared to geophysical models. In this research, we focus on the Earth's crust deformations resulting from hydrology mass changes, as observed by GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) gravity mission and modeled using WGHM (WaterGAP Global Hydrological Model) and GLDAS (Global Land Data Assimilation System), hydrological models. We use the newest release of GRACE Level-2 products, i. e. RL06, provided by the CSR (Center for Space Research, Austin) analysis center in the form of a mascon solution. The analysis is performed for the European area, divided into 29 river basins. For each basin, the average signal is estimated. Then, annual amplitudes and trends are calculated. We found that the eastern part of Europe is characterized by the largest annual amplitudes of hydrology-induced Earth's crust deformations, which decrease with decreasing distance to the Atlantic coast. GLDAS largely overestimates annual amplitudes in comparison to GRACE and WGHM. Hydrology models underestimate trends, which are observed by GRACE. For the basin-related average signals, we also estimate the non-linear variations over time using the Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA). For the river basins situated on the southern borderline of Europe and Asia, large inter-annual deformations between 2004 and 2009 reaching a few millimeters are found; they are related to high precipitation and unexpectedly large drying. They were observed by GRACE but mismodelled in the GLDAS and WGHM models. Few smaller inter-annual deformations were also observed by GRACE between 2002-2017 for central and eastern European river basins, but these have been also well-covered by the WGHM and GLDAS hydrological models.