To attempt to validate our GPS data, we compared our filtered time series to surface motions predicted from a hydrologic model. For each day, we forward model the daily averaged loading on a spherically layered elastic crust from TWS simulated by the NLDAS (fig. S19) (18). NLDAS estimates hourly changes in TWS at 1/8° spatial resolution over the continental United States, driven by observed precipitation. We estimated mean daily TWS from the NLDAS model as the change relative to the mean simulated TWS from 8 days before Harvey, therefore isolating the effects of water variation from Harvey itself.

Soil moisture measurements from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite (fig. S20) also show qualitatively good agreement in distribution of the saturated surface with our estimates of TWS (Fig. 3). We note that large soil moisture and TWS as simulated from the NLDAS model were also found northwest of Houston, as seen in our inversion result (Fig. 3) and highlighted by the red circle in fig. S18.

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