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Sensors 2009, 9(1), 1-21; doi:10.3390/s90100001

A One-Layer Satellite Surface Energy Balance for Estimating Evapotranspiration Rates and Crop Water Stress Indexes

Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Catania / Via S. Sofia, 100 - 95123 Catania Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 September 2008 / Revised: 23 December 2008 / Accepted: 24 December 2008 / Published: 5 January 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Italy)
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Daily evapotranspiration fluxes over the semi-arid Catania Plain area (Eastern Sicily, Italy) were evaluated using remotely sensed data from Landsat Thematic Mapper TM5 images. A one-source parameterization of the surface sensible heat flux exchange using satellite surface temperature has been used. The transfer of sensible and latent heat is described by aerodynamic resistance and surface resistance. Required model inputs are brightness, temperature, fractional vegetation cover or leaf area index, albedo, crop height, roughness lengths, net radiation, air temperature, air humidity and wind speed. The aerodynamic resistance (rah) is formulated on the basis of the Monin-Obukhov surface layer similarity theory and the surface resistance (rs) is evaluated from the energy balance equation. The instantaneous surface flux values were converted into evaporative fraction (EF) over the heterogeneous land surface to derive daily evapotranspiration values. Remote sensing-based assessments of crop water stress (CWSI) were also made in order to identify local irrigation requirements. Evapotranspiration data and crop coefficient values obtained from the approach were compared with: (i) data from the semi-empirical approach “Kc reflectance-based”, which integrates satellite data in the visible and NIR regions of the electromagnetic spectrum with ground-based measurements and (ii) surface energy flux measurements collected from a micrometeorological tower located in the experiment area. The expected variability associated with ET flux measurements suggests that the approach-derived surface fluxes were in acceptable agreement with the observations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Evapotranspiration; satellite detection; surface energy balance; water stress indexes Evapotranspiration; satellite detection; surface energy balance; water stress indexes

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Barbagallo, S.; Consoli, S.; Russo, A. A One-Layer Satellite Surface Energy Balance for Estimating Evapotranspiration Rates and Crop Water Stress Indexes. Sensors 2009, 9, 1-21.

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