Global Groundwater - Chapter 11 - Groundwater drought: environmental controls and monitoring

Elsevier, Global Groundwater, 2021, Pages 145-162
Bailing Li and Matthew Rodell

Arising from a long-term deficit of precipitation, groundwater drought often lags meteorological drought by months to years, depending on climate and subsurface hydrogeological conditions. Due to the paucity of in situ groundwater data in many parts of the world, global monitoring of groundwater storage variations and drought may be best achieved using satellite observations and/or groundwater time series simulated by hydrological models. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE Follow On (GRACE-FO) missions have greatly benefitted the modeling and monitoring of groundwater storage changes and drought at the global scale. In this chapter, we first review environmental controls on the temporal variability of groundwater using in situ data. We then describe an approach that infuses GRACE and GRACE-FO observations into a land surface model for assessing groundwater storage changes and drought globally. We also discuss characteristics of simulated groundwater drought and the limitations of current groundwater drought monitoring approaches.