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Estimation of evapotranspiration in an arid region by remote sensing—A case study in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin


Authors


Abstract

Estimating surface evapotranspiration is extremely important for the study of water resources in arid regions. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (NOAA/AVHRR), meteorological observations and data obtained from the Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research (WATER) project in 2008 are applied to the evaporative fraction model to estimate evapotranspiration over the Heihe River Basin. The calculation method for the parameters used in the model and the evapotranspiration estimation results are analyzed and evaluated. The results observed within the oasis and the banks of the river suggest that more evapotranspiration occurs in the inland river basin in the arid region from May to September. Evapotranspiration values for the oasis, where the land surface types and vegetations are highly variable, are relatively small and heterogeneous. In the Gobi desert and other deserts with little vegetation, evapotranspiration remains at its lowest level during this period. These results reinforce the conclusion that rational utilization of water resources in the oasis is essential to manage the water resources in the inland river basin. In the remote sensing-based evapotranspiration model, the accuracy of the parameter estimate directly affects the accuracy of the evapotranspiration results; more accurate parameter values yield more precise values for evapotranspiration. However, when using the evaporative fraction to estimate regional evapotranspiration, better calculation results can be achieved only if evaporative fraction is constant in the daytime.


Keywords

  • Evaporative fraction
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Heihe River Basin
  • Remote sensing

Citation

Li XM, Lu L, Yang WF, Cheng GD. Estimation of evapotranspiration in an arid region by remote sensing—A case study in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 2012, 17: 85-93, doi:10.1016/j.jag.2011.09.008.

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