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Large-scale groundwater monitoring in Brazil assisted with satellite-based artificial intelligence techniques
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  • Clyvihk Renna Camacho,
  • Augusto Getirana,
  • Otto Corrêa Rotunno Filho,
  • Maria Antonieta A Mourão
Clyvihk Renna Camacho
Geological Survey of Brazil - CPRM
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Augusto Getirana

Corresponding Author:augusto.getirana@nasa.gov

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Otto Corrêa Rotunno Filho
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
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Maria Antonieta A Mourão
Geological Service of Brazil - CPRM
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Here, we develop and test an artificial intelligence (AI)-based approach to monitor major Brazilian aquifers. The approach combines Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data and ground-based hydrogeological measurements from Brazil’s Integrated Groundwater Monitoring Network at hundreds of wells distributed in twelve aquifers across the country. We use a model ensemble composed of four different AI models: Extreme Gradient Boost, Light Gradient Boosting Model, CatBoost and Multilayer Perceptron. The approach is further boosted with wavelet and seasonal decomposition processes applied to GRACE data. To determine the sensitivity of the AI approach to data availability, we propose four experiments combining hydrogeological measurements from different aquifers. Groundwater storage estimates from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) are used as the benchmark. The AI approach successfully reproduces groundwater storage estimates ​​at all Brazilian aquifers. Results show that the proposed approach outperforms GLDAS in all experiments, with an average Nash-Sutcliff efficiency of 0.91 and an average RMSE of 0.43cm for the experiment that covers all monitored wells in Brazil. GLDAS resulted in -1.311 and 5.84cm, respectively. This study demonstrates that combining satellite data and AI can be a cost-effective alternative to monitor poorly equipped aquifers at the continental scale.