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Institute of Hydraulic Engineering

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Investigations on the Climatic Characteristics by of Seasonally Dry Catchments
descriptionGRACE observations of the time dependent gravity field provide a direct measurement of the monthly state of mass and thus the total monthly water storage in a catchment. This allows for a direct comparison of monthly runoff and water storage. Fully humid and boreal catchments show a linear relationship between runoff and liquid storage (Riegger & Tourian 2014), if liquid storage is quantified by remote sensing and if the temporal delay is adapted. Seasonally dry tropical catchments in South America, West-Africa, South East Asia and North Australian show a much more complex R-S relationship. The seasonal climatic behavior is characterized by wet and dry periods caused by the movement of the Inner Tropical Convergence Zone.

In this master thesis the climatic characteristics of seasonally dry catchments over the globe shall be investigated and compared as a basis for an understanding of their R-S relationships. Based on the water balance, precipitation, GRACE mass change and measured runoff provide the total actual evapotranspiration ETa of a catchment. This allows to investigate the mass loss by actual evapotranspiration ETa and the relationship between potential evapotranspiration ETp, ETa and their dependence on soil moisture and total water storage.

    GIS based delineation of seasonally dry catchments with available runoff data
    Integration of incremental catchments into existing data base with consideration of respective runoff
    Data update (Grace, R, P, divQ, T, ETp, Satellite Soil Moisture) and integration into the existing database system based on matlab
    Display of respective Runoff – Storage relationships
    Conversion of spatial / temporal distributions of precipitation from GPCC and soil moisture data into a wet area ratio
    Investigation of the relationship of ETp and ETa versus soil moisture, total water storage etc.

Program systems: ArcGIS, Access, Excel, Matlab
start1.7.2016 or later
aptitude of
study course: UMW (M.Sc.) WAREM
type of work:  Master's Thesis  Master's Thesis 
contactDr. rer.nat. Johannes Riegger