Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1285–1309 | Cite as

Calibration/Data Assimilation Approach for Integrating GRACE Data into the WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model (WGHM) Using an Ensemble Kalman Filter: First Results

  • Annette EickerEmail author
  • Maike Schumacher
  • Jürgen Kusche
  • Petra Döll
  • Hannes Müller Schmied


We introduce a new ensemble-based Kalman filter approach to assimilate GRACE satellite gravity data into the WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model. The approach (1) enables the use of the spatial resolution provided by GRACE by including the satellite observations as a gridded data product, (2) accounts for the complex spatial GRACE error correlation pattern by rigorous error propagation from the monthly GRACE solutions, and (3) allows us to integrate model parameter calibration and data assimilation within a unified framework. We investigate the formal contribution of GRACE observations to the Kalman filter update by analysis of the Kalman gain matrix. We then present first model runs, calibrated via data assimilation, for two different experiments: the first one assimilates GRACE basin averages of total water storage and the second one introduces gridded GRACE data at \(5^\circ\) resolution into the assimilation. We finally validate the assimilated model by running it in free mode (i.e., without adding any further GRACE information) for a period of 3 years following the assimilation phase and comparing the results to the GRACE observations available for this period.


Data assimilation GRACE WaterGAP Ensemble Kalman filter Gain matrix 



The support of the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the framework of the Special Priority Programme “Mass transport and mass distribution in the Earth’s system” (SPP1257) is gratefully acknowledged. Furthermore, we acknowledge two anonymous reviewers and the editor, Prof. Sneeuw, whose suggestions helped to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette Eicker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maike Schumacher
    • 1
  • Jürgen Kusche
    • 1
  • Petra Döll
    • 2
  • Hannes Müller Schmied
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Geodesy and GeoinformationBonnGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Physical GeographyFrankfurt am MainGermany

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