Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


EGSIEM Report Summary

Project ID: 637010
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EGSIEM (European Gravity Service for Improved Emergency Management)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"The EGSIEM project brings together scientists from around Europe and from a number of specialist fields to address fundamental problems in the management of earth’s water resources by using existing and future Earth Observation (EO) satellite data. The project will seek to show how the redistribution of environmental mass can deliver fundamental insights into the global water cycle, using observations, derived from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE and GRACE Follow On) mission.
Changes in continental water storage control the regional water budget and can, in extreme cases, result in floods and droughts that often claim a high toll on infrastructure, economy and human lives. EGSIEM will demonstrate that mass redistribution products open the door for innovative approaches to flood and drought monitoring and forecast. The timeliness and reliability of information is the primary concern for any early-warning system and EGSIEM will work towards improving the temporal resolution from one month, to just one day, and to provide gravity field information within 5 days (near real-time). Early warning indications derived from these products are expected to improve the awareness of potentially evolving Hydrological extremes and can be expected to help in the scheduling of high-resolution follow-up satellite observations. We will provide adequate data products and indicators for tentative integration into the work of the Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI, operated by the German Aerospace Center) and its future use within international initiatives, such as the Copernicus Emergency Management Service and the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters". To ensure robust performance of EGSIEM products they will be assessed with complementary data and post-processed mass products derived from the combined knowledge of the entire European GRACE community unified within our consortium.

The overall objectives for EGSIEM can therefore be summarised as:
1) a scientific combination service
2) a near real-time service
3) and a hydrological/early warning service"

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Most of the wide-ranging work undertaken by the EGSIEM consortium in year one (of a total project duration of three years) has been concerned with the improvement of existing gravity products, to this end there has been significant work undertaken on creating a combined solution from the various GRACE Analysis Centres which are represented within EGSIEM. Following several iterations of the combined solution, initial results (verified by EGSIEM member organisations and Associate members) have evaluated improvements in the combined solution to be between 10 and 50 percent. The EGSIEM partners have also been working hard on producing timely, yet accurate, data from GRACE, initial daily gravity field products have been produced and it has been compared to the Ganges/Brahmaputra river basin flood in 2007. The first results indicate an accuracy in the region of 86% (when compared to observed water level data).

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The EGSIEM consortium is dedicated to combining a myriad of Earth Observation data into three main products for use by the scientific community, but for the benefit of everyone.
The first results will see the best possible standardization of GRACE satellite data to simplify access to this rich source of gravity field information, thereby encouraging users from all scientific backgrounds to use the data, which will be made freely available. Standardized data will contribute to the datapool of scientists studying other fields (the atmosphere, cryosphere and the ocean) and will offer a real impact on climate change observations. It will also allow for the monitoring of water resources, not simply those visible signs currently viewed by optical satellites which cannot operate in areas of heavy cloud and cannot measure soil moisture content.
The next result is dedicated to reducing the existing time delays in accessing satellite-based data, in effect reducing availability from one month to one day. This, potentially, would have a very real impact on the data available to flood and drought monitoring services, if the time resolution for data on the global water cycle can be improved by a factor of 30. Put simply, better knowledge leads to better decision making and the potential impact could save lives by highlighting unusual water movement patterns, and providing significantly better data to hydrologists and emergency services.
Our last expected result will use the above improved products to develop gravity-based indicators for the monitoring of extreme hydrological events such as floods and droughts. Using the infrastructure of existing emergency management services (such as at the Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information of project partners DLR) the EGSIEM gravity products will be refined to support operational satellite-based information services, thereby allowing traditional satellites to be tasked at areas in danger of flooding and providing automated flood mapping services from gravity based indicators.

Related information

Record Number: 186453 / Last updated on: 2016-07-12