07 Jul 2021

07 Jul 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

HydroSat: a repository of global water cycle products from spaceborne geodetic sensors

Mohammad J. Tourian1, Omid Elmi1, Yasin Shafaghi2, Sajedeh Behnia1, Peyman Saemian1, Ron Schlesinger1, and Nico Sneeuw1 Mohammad J. Tourian et al.
  • 1University of Stuttgart, Institute of Geodesy (GIS), Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2GAF AG, Munich, Germany

Abstract. Against the backdrop of global change, both in terms of climate and demography, there is a pressing need for monitoring the global water cycle. The publicly available global database is very limited in its spatial and temporal coverage worldwide. Moreover, the acquisition of in situ data and their delivery to the database are in decline since the late 1970s, be it for economical or political reasons. Given the insufficient monitoring from in situ gauge networks, and with no outlook for improvement, spaceborne approaches have been under investigation for some years now. Satellite-based Earth observation with its global coverage and homogeneous accuracy has been demonstrated to be a potential alternative to in situ measurements. This paper presents HydroSat as a repository of global water cycle products from spaceborne geodetic sensors. HydroSat provides time series and their uncertainty of: water level from satellite altimetry, surface water extent from satellite imagery, terrestrial water storage anomaly from satellite gravimetry, lake and reservoir water storage anomaly from a combination of satellite altimetry and imagery, and river discharge from either satellite altimetry or imagery. These products can contribute to understanding the global water cycle within the Earth system in several ways. They can act as inputs to hydrological models, they can play a complementary role to current and future spaceborne observations, and they can define indicators of the past and future state of the global freshwater system. The repository is publicly available through

Mohammad J. Tourian et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 Oct 2021

Mohammad J. Tourian et al.

Data sets

HydroSat: a repository of global water cycle products from spaceborne geodetic sensors Tourian, Mohammad; Elmi, Omid; Shafaghi, Yasin; Behnia, Sajedeh; Saemian, Peyman; Schlesinger, Ron; Sneeuw, Nico

Mohammad J. Tourian et al.


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Short summary
HydroSat as a repository of global water cycle products provides estimates and uncertainty of the following water cycle variables: 1) surface water extent of lakes and rivers, 2) water level time series of lakes and river 3) terrestrial water storage anomaly, 4) water storage anomaly of lakes and reservoirs and 5) river discharge estimates for large and small rivers.