Water-Vapour Monitoring from Ground-Based GNSS Observations in Northwestern Argentina

authored by
Nikolaos Antonoglou, Kyriakos Balidakis, Jens Wickert, Galina Dick, Alejandro de la Torre, Bodo Bookhagen

The Central Andes in northwestern Argentina are characterized by steep topographic and climatic gradients. The humid foreland areas at 1 km asl elevation rapidly rise to over 5 km in the eastern Cordillera, and they form an orographic rainfall barrier on the eastern windward side. This topographic setting combined with seasonal moisture transport through the South American monsoon system leads to intense rainstorms with cascading effects such as landsliding and flooding. In order to better quantify the dynamics of water vapour transport, we use high-temporal-resolution global navigation satellite system (GNSS) remote sensing techniques. We are particularly interested in better understanding the dynamics of high-magnitude storms with high water vapour amounts that have destructive effects on human infrastructure. We used an existing GNSS station network with 12 years of time series data, and we installed two new ground stations along the climatic gradient and collected GNSS time series data for three years. For several stations we calculated the GNSS signal delay gradient to determine water vapour transport direction. Our statistical analysis combines in situ rainfall measurements and ERA5 reanalysis data to reveal the water vapour transport mechanism for the study area. The results show a strong relationship between altitude and the water vapour content, as well as between the transportation pathways and the topography.

External Organisation(s)
University of Potsdam
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences
Technische Universität Berlin
Universidad Austral
Remote sensing
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
Electronic version(s)
https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14215427 (Access: Open)