Contribution of global groundwater depletion since 1900 to sea-level rise

Geophysical Research Letters



Removal of water from terrestrial subsurface storage is a natural consequence of groundwater withdrawals, but global depletion is not well characterized. Cumulative groundwater depletion represents a transfer of mass from land to the oceans that contributes to sea-level rise. Depletion is directly calculated using calibrated groundwater models, analytical approaches, or volumetric budget analyses for multiple aquifer systems. Estimated global groundwater depletion during 1900–2008 totals ~4,500 km3, equivalent to a sea-level rise of 12.6 mm (>6% of the total). Furthermore, the rate of groundwater depletion has increased markedly since about 1950, with maximum rates occurring during the most recent period (2000–2008), when it averaged ~145 km3/yr (equivalent to 0.40 mm/yr of sea-level rise, or 13% of the reported rate of 3.1 mm/yr during this recent period).

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Contribution of global groundwater depletion since 1900 to sea-level rise
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1029/2011GL048604
Volume 38
Issue 17
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher AGU
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Description L17401
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geophysical Research Letters
Other Geospatial Earth
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