Spatial and temporal resolution limits for regional mass transport and mass distribution in Mediterranean and Black Sea catchments


STREMP is a scientific project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within its priority programme "Mass transport and mass distribution in the Earth system" (SPP 1257). It is an interdisciplinary project that combines integrative components from geodesy, oceanography and hydrology in order to investigate mass variations in the Mediterranean and Black Sea and their catchments.


Within the current second phase of the project the global hydrology and water use model WaterGAP is applied in STREMP. It aims at assessing leakage phenomena and mass compartments evolving from the satellite based Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) signal. Therefore, a regional version of WaterGAP3 with a spatial resolution of five arc minutes (ca. 6 x 9 km) will be developed for the project region. In particular, water storages, such as soil moisture and groundwater, as well as water fluxes, such as river discharge, will be computed on a daily basis to quantify changes in the Earth's mass compartments. Also, water uses will be considered for each basin, as, for example, irrigation water abstracted from groundwater largely influences the hydrological cycle of the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

In a second step, gravity data of the satellite mission GRACE will be used to improve WaterGAP. This goal will be achieved by testing modelled water storages and fluxes against those derived from satellite data. The knowledge gained by this multi-objective calibration method will then be employed to enhance process descriptions in the model and to learn about shortcomings within the WaterGAP framework.

Funding agency

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Project duration

February 2009  −  January 2011

Project management

Lucas Menzel

Project staff

Tim Aus der Beek


GFZ Potsdam, Universität Darmstadt, Universität Oldenburg, Universität Bonn