Evapotranspiration (ET) is dynamic and influences water resource distribution. Sustainable management of water resources requires accurate estimations of the individual components that result in evapotranspiration, including the daily net radiation (DNR). Daily ET is more useful than the evaporative fraction (EF) provided by remote sensing ET models, and to account for daily variations, EF is usually combined with the DNR. DNR exhibits diurnal and spatiotemporal variations due to landscape heterogeneity. In the modified Two-Source Energy Balance (TSEB) approach by Zhuang and Wu, 2015, ecophysiological constraint functions of temperature and moisture of plants based on atmospheric moisture and vegetation indices were introduced, but the DNR was not spatially accounted for in the estimation of the daily ET. This research adopted a novel approach that accounts for spatiotemporal variations in estimated daily ET by incorporating the Bisht and Bras DNR model in the modified version of the TSEB model. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite imagery over the Tono irrigation watershed within the Upper East Region of Ghana and Southern Burkina Faso were used. We estimated the energy fluxes of latent and sensible heat as well as the net radiation and soil heat fluxes from the satellite images and compared our results with ground-based measurements from an eddy covariance (EC) station established by the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) within the watershed area. We noticed a similarity between our model estimated fluxes and ET with the ground-based EC station measurements. Eight different land use/cover types were identified in the study area, and each of these contributed significantly to the overall ET variations between the two study periods: December 2009 and December 2017. For instance, due to a higher leaf area index (LAI) for all vegetation types in December 2009 than in December 2017, the ET for December 2017 was higher than that for December 2009. We also noticed that the land use/cover types within the footprint area of the EC station were only six out of the eight. Generally, all the surface energy fluxes increased from December 2009 to December 2017. Mean ET varied from 3.576 to 4.486 (mm/d) for December 2009 while from 4.502 to 5.280 (mm/d) for December 2017 across the different land use/cover classes. Knowledge of the dynamics of evapotranspiration and adoption of cost-effective methods to estimate its individual components in an effective and efficient way is critical to water resources management. Our findings provide a tool for all water stakeholders within watersheds to manage water resources in an engaging and cost-effective way.
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