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Felix Landerer
Deputy Project Scientist

"Since 2002, NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites have been monitoring large-scale groundwater depletion all over the globe. In northwest India, the Middle East, and also close to home in California's Central Valley aquifer, a significant fraction of the water needed to farm comes from groundwater. With GRACE, we have a tool that allows us to very accurately detect where and how much water is pumped from deep below -- unfortunately, often at unsustainable rates. For example, during the 2006 to 2010 California drought, the equivalent volume of an entire Lake Mead was extracted from the Central Valley Aquifer!"

Research Interests

  • Analysis of climate-related time-variable gravity (GRACE & geodetic satellites)
  • Evaluation of contributing to global and regional sea level change: steric and non-steric sources, dynamic sea level adjustments, “sea level fingerprints”
  • Climate change: natural variability and human influence on global and regional sea level;
  • Earth’s water cycle & associated surface mass redistribution
  • Comparing Earth System Model simulations against observations: rates and patterns of projected sea level changes vs. observations
  • Earth rotation variations due to atmosphere-ocean-land interactions


  • Ph.D., Oceanography, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology / University of Hamburg / Intl. Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling (2004-2007)
  • Diploma (M.Sc.), Geophysics, University of Kiel (1998-2004)
Felix  Landerer - Deputy Project Scientist

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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