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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(5), 436; doi:10.3390/rs9050436

Evapotranspiration Estimate over an Almond Orchard Using Landsat Satellite Observations

1
College of Geoscience and Surveying Engineering, China University of Mining & Technology (Beijing), Beijing 100086, China
2
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
3
Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
4
University of California Cooperative Extension, Bakersfield, CA 93307, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: George P. Petropoulos and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
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Abstract

California growers face challenges with water shortages and there is a strong need to use the least amount of water while optimizing yield. Timely information on evapotranspiration (ET), a dominant component of crop consumptive water use, is critical for growers to tailor irrigation management based on in-field spatial variability and in-season variations. We evaluated the performance of a remote sensing-based approach, Mapping Evapotranspiration at high Resolution with Internalized Calibration (METRIC), in mapping ET over an almond orchard in California, driven by Landsat satellite observations. Reference ET from a network of weather stations over well-watered grass (ETo) was used for the internal calibration and for deriving ET at daily and extended time period, instead of alfalfa based reference evapotranspiration (ETr). Our study showed that METRIC daily ET estimates during Landsat overpass dates agreed well with the field measurements. During 2009–2012, a root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.53 mm/day and a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.87 were found between METRIC versus observed daily ET. Monthly ET estimates had a higher accuracy, with a RMSE of 12.08 mm/month, a R2 of 0.90, and a relatively small relative mean difference (RMD) of 9.68% during 2009–2012 growing seasons. Net radiation and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from remote sensing observations were highly correlated with spatial and temporal ET estimates. An empirical model was developed to estimate daily ET using NDVI, net radiation (Rn), and vapor pressure deficit (VPD). The validation showed that the accuracy of this easy-to-use empirical method was slightly lower than that of METRIC but still reasonable, with a RMSE of 0.71 mm/day when compared to ground measurements. The remote sensing based ET estimate will support a variety of State and local interests in water use and irrigation management, for both planning and regulatory/compliance purposes, and it provides the farmers observation-based guidance for site-specific and time-sensitive irrigation management. View Full-Text
Keywords: evapotranspiration; landsat 5 TM and 7 ETM+; METRIC; almond orchard; consumptive water use; central valley evapotranspiration; landsat 5 TM and 7 ETM+; METRIC; almond orchard; consumptive water use; central valley
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    Description: Table S1. List of 46 Landsat 5 TM and 7 ETM+ images used for estimating ET by METRIC approach. Table S2. Statistics of METRIC-basedmonthly ET (mm/month) over the almond orchard (n = 676 pixels) from April to September in 2009 – 2012. Figure S1. Illustration of METRIC algorithms. (a) Flowchart for iterative calculation of sensible heat flux and (b) linear relationship between dT (near surface-air temperature difference) and Ts (surface temperature), as shown in the METRIC manual by Allen et al., 2014. Figure S2. Time series of daily ET measured by the flux tower (black line) and estimated by the METRIC approach (red triangle points) over almond trees in (a) 2010, (b) 2011, and (c) 2012. The daily reference ETo of grass from Belridge CIMIS station was also shown here in blue line. Figure S3. Time series of daily EToF from ground-based measurements (ETa/ETo, in blue) and from METRIC estimated ET averaged over 2 × 3 pixels centered around EC tower at Landsat overpass dates (black dots) from April to September in 2009–2012. Also shown is the cubic interpolation of METRIC daily EToF using daily EToF estimates on two adjacent Landsat overpassing dates.

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MDPI and ACS Style

He, R.; Jin, Y.; Kandelous, M.M.; Zaccaria, D.; Sanden, B.L.; Snyder, R.L.; Jiang, J.; Hopmans, J.W. Evapotranspiration Estimate over an Almond Orchard Using Landsat Satellite Observations. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 436.

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