Mass Change Mission - Applications Survey
As part of the 2017-2027 Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space (Decadal Survey), NASA has identified a Mass Change Designated Observable (MCDO) Study Team to evaluate science and applications needs and satellite mission architectures for future mass change missions (i.e., successors to the GRACE and GRACE Follow On missions). The primary science objective of an MCDO mission is the measurement of changes in the Earth’s gravity field over time. A major focus of the Decadal Survey is Applications of the data resulting from the recommended missions.

In order to understand the needs of the mass change applications community, we invite you to participate in a brief survey, and we encourage you to forward this invitation to other potential data users. This survey targets current and potential end-users of mass change mission data products, and its goal is to understand the needs of those end-users. The results will be used to help guide mission architecture design, evaluate tradeoffs, and ensure that the data products are optimized for a broad user community.

Past and current NASA gravity missions, GRACE (2002-2017) and GRACE Follow On (GRACE-FO, launched 2018) have provided monthly mass anomaly maps beginning in 2002. The major time-varying signal measured by GRACE and GRACE-FO is redistribution of water mass within the Earth system. The principal dynamics causing redistribution include changes due to surface and deep currents in the ocean, changes in the water stored on and beneath the land surface, glacier losses, and exchanges between ice sheets and the ocean. The effective spatial resolution of the GRACE and GRACE-FO observations is too coarse for many local scale applications. However, when used in combination with other complementary data sets and terrestrial hydrology models, these observations have offered enhanced insights on processes at higher spatial and temporal resolutions. The chief advantage GRACE and GRACE-FO have over other space observations is completeness in capturing integrated mass changes at and beneath the land surface. These observations create the potential for applications in water resources (drought monitoring and related fire hazard assessments, flood risk evaluation, regional water budget analysis including quantification of groundwater depletion), surveying and navigation (highly accurate global geoid models), natural disasters (i.e., operational modeling to support improved planning and mitigation activities in earthquake-prone regions), and climate-related applications (ice sheet and glacier mass change monitoring, and non-steric sea level rise assessment).

Please take a few moments to complete the survey. If you wish to receive information about related activities in the future, please provide your contact information in question number 14.

1. What is your application domain?
2. Have you used GRACE data for your application? If so, how?
Your answer
3. Which GRACE data product do you use? (name or URL)
Your answer
4. What is your geographic region(s) of interest?
Your answer
5. GRACE terrestrial water storage data have a resolution no better than 3° x 3° latitude/longitude (300 x 300 km), with some assimilated products at 0.125° resolution. What spatial resolution would you require/prefer for your application?
6. GRACE terrestrial water storage data are typically provided as monthly means, with some assimilated products updated weekly. What temporal resolution would you require/prefer for your application?
7. GRACE terrestrial water storage products were released with roughly 2-4 month latency, while some assimilated products had 2-8 day latency. What latency would be sufficient for your application?
8. GRACE terrestrial water storage data have an uncertainty of roughly 1.5 cm equivalent height of water over a 200,000 km2 area. What accuracy or precision is required to be useful for your application?
9. The GRACE data record spans ~15 years. Do you have requirements/preferences in terms of record length and continuity of terrestrial water storage data?
Your answer
10. Please rank the importance of the following 5 attributes (a through e) from 1 to 5 for your application.
Your answer
a. Spatial resolution
Low importance
High importance
b. Temporal resolution
Low importance
High importance
c. Data latency
Low importance
High importance
d. Accuracy
Low importance
High importance
e. Record length
Low importance
High importance
11. What data formats do you prefer?
12. What are some of your other key data sources? Are they used in conjunction with GRACE data? Can they be substituted for GRACE data?
Your answer
13. Do you have any other suggestions related to the development of future satellite-derived terrestrial water storage data?
Your answer
14. Please provide you email address if you would be interested in participating in a community workshop related to future missions and/or are willing to answer additional questions.
Your answer
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