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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(12), 16795-16814; doi:10.3390/rs71215854

Improving Estimation of Evapotranspiration under Water-Limited Conditions Based on SEBS and MODIS Data in Arid Regions

1,* , 1,2
,
3
,
1
and
1,4
1
Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Gansu Province, Heihe Remote Sensing Experimental Research Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
College of Resource and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3
MoE Key Laboratory of West China’s Environmental System, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
4
CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yuei-An Liou, Qinhuo Liu, Magaly Koch and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 28 September 2015 / Revised: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [8607 KB, uploaded 10 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

This study proposes a method for improving the estimation of surface turbulent fluxes in surface energy balance system (SEBS) model under water stress conditions using MODIS data. The normalized difference water index (NDWI) as an indicator of water stress is integrated into SEBS. To investigate the feasibility of the new approach, the desert-oasis region in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin (HRB) is selected as the study area. The proposed model is calibrated with meteorological and flux data over 2008–2011 at the Yingke station and is verified with data from 16 stations of the Heihe Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research (HiWATER) project in 2012. The results show that soil moisture significantly affects evapotranspiration (ET) under water stress conditions in the study area. Adding the NDWI in SEBS can significantly improve the estimations of surface turbulent fluxes in water-limited regions, especially for spare vegetation cover area. The daily ET maps generated by the new model also show improvements in drylands with low ET values. This study demonstrates that integrating the NDWI into SEBS as an indicator of water stress is an effective way to improve the assessment of the regional ET in semi-arid and arid regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: evapotranspiration; arid region; SEBS; remote sensing; MODIS; NDWI; Heihe River Basin evapotranspiration; arid region; SEBS; remote sensing; MODIS; NDWI; Heihe River Basin
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, C.; Li, Y.; Gu, J.; Lu, L.; Li, X. Improving Estimation of Evapotranspiration under Water-Limited Conditions Based on SEBS and MODIS Data in Arid Regions. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 16795-16814.

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