Matthew Rodell


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Underlying Fundamentals of Kalman Filtering for River Network Modeling
C. M. Emery, Cédric H. David, Konstantinos M. Andreadis, M. Turmon, J. T. Reager, Jonathan Hobbs, Ming Pan, J. S. Famiglietti, R. Edward Beighley, Matthew Rodell
Journal of Hydrometeorology, Volume 21, Issue 3

Abstract The grand challenge of producing hydrometeorological estimates every time and everywhere has motivated the fusion of sparse observations with dense numerical models, with a particular interest on discharge in river modeling. Ensemble methods are largely preferred as they enable the estimation of error properties, but at the expense of computational load and generally with underestimations. These imperfect stochastic estimates motivate the use of correction methods, that is, error localization and inflation, although the physical justifications for their optimality are limited. The purpose of this study is to use one of the simplest forms of data assimilation when applied to river modeling and reveal the underlying mechanisms impacting its performance. Our framework based on assimilating daily averaged in situ discharge measurements to correct daily averaged runoff was tested over a 4-yr case study of two rivers in Texas. Results show that under optimal conditions of inflation and localization, discharge simulations are consistently improved such that the mean values of Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency are enhanced from −11.32 to 0.55 at observed gauges and from −12.24 to −1.10 at validation gauges. Yet, parameters controlling the inflation and the localization have a large impact on the performance. Further investigations of these sensitivities showed that optimal inflation occurs when compensating exactly for discrepancies in the magnitude of errors while optimal localization matches the distance traveled during one assimilation window. These results may be applicable to more advanced data assimilation methods as well as for larger applications motivated by upcoming river-observing satellite missions, such as NASA’s Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission.


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Contributions of GRACE to understanding climate change
Byron D Tapley, M. M. Watkins, Frank Flechtner, Christoph Reigber, Srinivas Bettadpur, Matthew Rodell, Ingo Sasgen, J. S. Famiglietti, F. W. Landerer, D. P. Chambers, J. T. Reager, Alex Gardner, Himanshu Save, E. R. Ivins, Sean Swenson, Carmen Böening, Christoph Dahle, D. N. Wiese, Henryk Dobslaw, M. E. Tamisiea, I. Velicogna
Nature Climate Change, Volume 9, Issue 5

Time-resolved satellite gravimetry has revolutionized understanding of mass transport in the Earth system. Since 2002, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) has enabled monitoring of the terrestrial water cycle, ice sheet and glacier mass balance, sea level change and ocean bottom pressure variations and understanding responses to changes in the global climate system. Initially a pioneering experiment of geodesy, the time-variable observations have matured into reliable mass transport products, allowing assessment and forecast of a number of important climate trends and improve service applications such as the U.S. Drought Monitor. With the successful launch of the GRACE Follow-On mission, a multi decadal record of mass variability in the Earth system is within reach.


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Emerging trends in global freshwater availability
Matthew Rodell, J. S. Famiglietti, D. N. Wiese, J. T. Reager, H. K. Beaudoing, F. W. Landerer, Ming Lo
Nature, Volume 557, Issue 7707

Freshwater availability is changing worldwide. Here we quantify 34 trends in terrestrial water storage observed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites during 2002-2016 and categorize their drivers as natural interannual variability, unsustainable groundwater consumption, climate change or combinations thereof. Several of these trends had been lacking thorough investigation and attribution, including massive changes in northwestern China and the Okavango Delta. Others are consistent with climate model predictions. This observation-based assessment of how the world's water landscape is responding to human impacts and climate variations provides a blueprint for evaluating and predicting emerging threats to water and food security.