Recharge observations indicate strengthened groundwater connection to surface fluxes

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.

Downloads

Download Preprint

Authors

Wouter Berghuijs , Elco Luijendijk , Christian Moeck , Ype Van der Velde , Scott Allen 

Abstract

Groundwater is an invaluable global resource, but its long-term viability as a resource for consumption, agriculture, and ecosystems depends on precipitation recharging aquifers. How much precipitation recharges groundwaters varies enormously across Earth's surface, but recharge rates are uncertain because field observations are sparse and modeled global estimates remain largely unvalidated. Here we show that recharge is predictable as a simple function of climatic aridity — the ratio of long-term potential evapotranspiration to precipitation — using a global synthesis of measured recharge of 5237 sites across six continents. We use this relationship to estimate long-term recharge globally outside of permafrost regions. Our estimates double previous global estimates and are more consistent with empirical observations. These revised higher estimates of global groundwater recharge imply that much more groundwater must contribute to evapotranspiration and streamflow than previously represented in global water cycle depictions or global hydrological and Earth system models.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5R63F

Subjects

Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

Recharge

Dates

Published: 2021-09-03 13:33

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Conflict of interest statement:
None

Data Availability (Reason not available):
All data are available in via the cited sources.

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


Comments

There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.