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Long-Term (1986–2015) Crop Water Use Characterization over the Upper Rio Grande Basin of United States and Mexico Using Landsat-Based Evapotranspiration

1
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, North Central Climate Science Center, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2
Innovate! Inc., Contractor to the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Center, Sioux Falls, SD 57198, USA
3
ASRC Federal Data Solutions, Contractor to the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Center, Sioux Falls, SD 57198, USA
4
KBR, Contractor to the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Center, Sioux Falls, SD 57198, USA
5
Biology Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
6
USGS New Mexico Water Science Center, Albuquerque, NM 87113, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(13), 1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11131587
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 29 June 2019 / Accepted: 29 June 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing: 10th Anniversary)
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Abstract

The evaluation of historical water use in the Upper Rio Grande Basin (URGB), United States and Mexico, using Landsat-derived actual evapotranspiration (ETa) from 1986 to 2015 is presented here as the first study of its kind to apply satellite observations to quantify long-term, basin-wide crop consumptive use in a large basin. The rich archive of Landsat imagery combined with the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEBop) model was used to estimate and map ETa across the basin and over irrigated fields for historical characterization of water-use dynamics. Monthly ETa estimates were evaluated using six eddy-covariance (EC) flux towers showing strong correspondence (r2 > 0.80) with reasonable error rates (root mean square error between 6 and 19 mm/month). Detailed spatiotemporal analysis using peak growing season (June–August) ETa over irrigated areas revealed declining regional crop water-use patterns throughout the basin, a trend reinforced through comparisons with gridded ETa from the Max Planck Institute (MPI). The interrelationships among seven agro-hydroclimatic variables (ETa, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), land surface temperature (LST), maximum air temperature (Ta), potential ET (ETo), precipitation, and runoff) are all summarized to support the assessment and context of historical water-use dynamics over 30 years in the URGB. View Full-Text
Keywords: evapotranspiration; remote sensing; SSEBop model; water-use trends; Landsat; Upper Rio Grande Basin evapotranspiration; remote sensing; SSEBop model; water-use trends; Landsat; Upper Rio Grande 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

Senay, G.B.; Schauer, M.; Velpuri, N.M.; Singh, R.K.; Kagone, S.; Friedrichs, M.; Litvak, M.E.; Douglas-Mankin, K.R. Long-Term (1986–2015) Crop Water Use Characterization over the Upper Rio Grande Basin of United States and Mexico Using Landsat-Based Evapotranspiration. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1587.

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