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63 trillion gallons of water lost – new GPS study released

August 22, 2014

CNAP researcher Dan Cayan is co-author of a study just released by Science that examines the uplift of the earth’s surface in the west due to the extreme drought conditions. This innovative research uses GPS measurements to examine the uplift in the earth’s surface due to water loss. The amount of water loss is staggering at 63 trillion gallons which would be an approximate 10 cm layer of water over the entire region. This water loss is consistent with observed decreases in precipitation and streamflow. The figure below shows the detrended March 1, 2014, vertical displacement (mm).

displacement_legendgps_displacement_2013_2014

Please click here for a personal-use pdf file of the article:
Borsa, A.A., D.C. Agnew and D.R. Cayan, 2014: Ongoing drought-induced uplift in the western United States. Science, published online 21 August 2014, DOI:10.1126/science.126079, 5 pages.

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