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Open AccessArticle

Dynamic Mapping of Evapotranspiration Using an Energy Balance-Based Model over an Andean Páramo Catchment of Southern Ecuador

1
Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing, Faculty of Geography, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Deutschhausstr. 12, Marburg 35032, Germany
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Departamento de Recursos Hídricos y Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca EC010207, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: George P. Petropoulos, Magaly Koch and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(2), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8020160
Received: 9 December 2015 / Revised: 1 February 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
Understanding of evapotranspiration (ET) processes over Andean mountain environments is crucial, particularly due to the importance of these regions to deliver water-related ecosystem services. In this context, the detection of spatio-temporal changes in ET remains poorly investigated for specific Andean ecosystems, like the páramo. To overcome this lack of knowledge, we implemented the energy-balance model METRIC with Landsat 7 ETM+ and MODIS-Terra imagery for a páramo catchment. The implementation contemplated adjustments for complex terrain in order to obtain daily, monthly and annual ET maps (between 2013 and 2014). In addition, we compared our results to the global ET product MOD16. Finally, a rigorous validation of the outputs was conducted with residual ET from the water balance. ET retrievals from METRIC (Landsat-based) showed good agreement with the validation-related ET at monthly and annual steps (mean bias error <8 mm·month−1 and annual deviation <17%). However, METRIC (MODIS-based) outputs and the MOD16 product were revealed to be unsuitable for our study due to the low spatial resolution. At last, the plausibility of METRIC to obtain spatial ET retrievals using higher resolution satellite data is demonstrated, which constitutes the first contribution to the understanding of spatially-explicit ET over an alpine catchment in the neo-tropical Andes. View Full-Text
Keywords: evapotranspiration; Ecuador; Andes; páramo; tropical mountains; METRIC; remote sensing; Landsat; MODIS evapotranspiration; Ecuador; Andes; páramo; tropical mountains; METRIC; remote sensing; Landsat; MODIS
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Carrillo-Rojas, G.; Silva, B.; Córdova, M.; Célleri, R.; Bendix, J. Dynamic Mapping of Evapotranspiration Using an Energy Balance-Based Model over an Andean Páramo Catchment of Southern Ecuador. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 160.

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