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Assessment of satellite-based approach for the groundwater recharge estimation in arid regions
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  • Nafiseh Salehi Siavashani,
  • Joaquin Jimenez-Martines ,
  • Guillermo Vaquero,
  • Justin Sheffield,
  • lucila candela,
  • Aleix Serrat-Capdevila
Nafiseh Salehi Siavashani
Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Joaquin Jimenez-Martines
ETH Zürich
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Guillermo Vaquero
Fundación IMDEA Agua
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Polytechnic University of Madrid Superior Technical School of Mines and Energy
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Justin Sheffield
University of Southampton
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lucila candela
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Aleix Serrat-Capdevila
World Bank
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Estimation of aquifer recharge is a prerequisite for understanding groundwater systems and sustainable water resources management. In arid and semi-arid areas, where access to hydrologic data for groundwater studies is often limited with spatial and temporal inconsistencies, data collection is difficult. Therefore, in these regions satellite products of meteorological data series have recently turned into the most reliable alternative. This study presents a daily groundwater recharge estimation in the NW part of the Lake Chad Basin using VisualBALAN, a water-soil-plant distributed model, from two data sources (ground and satellite-based meteorological data) under non-irrigated and irrigated land. Precipitation and temperature data from ground-based gauge stations and the Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation product (MSWEP), was gathered for the years 2005-2014; average annual values were 283 and 417 mm and 30 and 29 ℃ for gauges and for MSWEP, respectively. The estimated mean annual aquifer recharge from precipitation equals 10.9 and 14.7 mm/yr, while in irrigated areas was 33 and 41 mm/yr, for ground and satellite-based data, respectively, being always slightly higher for the satellite estimates. Sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the dependency of input data in final recharge. Recharge estimates were mainly sensitive to soil type, soil parameters such as field capacity and wilting point, and to surface hydrology-related parameters such as curve number.