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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(8), 644; doi:10.3390/rs8080644

Regional Estimation of Remotely Sensed Evapotranspiration Using the Surface Energy Balance-Advection (SEB-A) Method

1
Key Laboratory of Water Cycle & Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
4
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and DigitalEarth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
5
Heihe Remote Sensing Experimental Research Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 73000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Prashant K. Srivastava, Richard Gloaguen and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
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Abstract

Evapotranspiration (ET) is an essential part of the hydrological cycle and accurately estimating it plays a crucial role in water resource management. Surface energy balance (SEB) models are widely used to estimate regional ET with remote sensing. The presence of horizontal advection, however, perturbs the surface energy balance system and contributes to the uncertainty of energy influxes. Thus, it is vital to consider horizontal advection when applying SEB models to estimate ET. This study proposes an innovative and simplified approach, the surface energy balance-advection (SEB-A) method, which is based on the energy balance theory and also takes into account the horizontal advection to determine ET by remote sensing. The SEB-A method considers that the actual ET consists of two parts: the local ET that is regulated by the energy balance system and the exotic ET that arises from horizontal advection. To evaluate the SEB-A method, it was applied to the middle region of the Heihe River in China. Instantaneous ET for three days were acquired and assessed with ET measurements from eddy covariance (EC) systems. The results demonstrated that the ET estimates had a high accuracy, with a correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.713, a mean average error (MAE) of 39.3 W/m2 and a root mean square error (RMSE) of 54.6 W/m2 between the estimates and corresponding measurements. Percent error was calculated to more rigorously assess the accuracy of these estimates, and it ranged from 0% to 35%, with over 80% of the locations within a 20% error. To better understand the SEB-A method, the relationship between the ET estimates and land use types was analyzed, and the results indicated that the ET estimates had spatial distributions that correlated with vegetation patterns and could well demonstrate the ET differences caused by different land use types. The sensitivity analysis suggested that the SEB-A method requested accurate estimation of the available energy, R n G , but was less constrained with the difference between ground and air temperature, T 0 T a l o c . View Full-Text
Keywords: evapotranspiration; remote sensing; energy balance; horizontal advection evapotranspiration; remote sensing; energy balance; horizontal advection
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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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Liu, S.; Su, H.; Zhang, R.; Tian, J.; Chen, S.; Wang, W. Regional Estimation of Remotely Sensed Evapotranspiration Using the Surface Energy Balance-Advection (SEB-A) Method. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 644.

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