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Open AccessArticle

Hydrological Modelling using Satellite-Based Crop Coefficients: A Comparison of Methods at the Basin Scale

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FutureWater, Paseo Alfonso XIII, 48, 30203 Cartagena, Spain
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Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), PO Box 164, 30100 Murcia, Spain
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FutureWater, Costerweg 1V, 48, 6702 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Dpto. de Ingeniería de Alimentos y del Equipamiento Agrícola, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Paseo Alfonso XIII, 48, 30203 Cartagena, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gabriel Senay and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(2), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9020174
Received: 19 November 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 18 February 2017
The parameterization of crop coefficients (kc) is critical for determining a water balance. We used satellite-based and literature-based methods to derive kc values for a distributed hydrologic model. We evaluated the impact of different kc parametrization methods on the water balance and simulated hydrologic response at the basin and sub-basin scale. The hydrological model SPHY was calibrated and validated for a period of 15 years for the upper Segura basin (~2500 km2) in Spain, which is characterized by a wide range of terrain, soil, and ecosystem conditions. The model was then applied, using six kc parameterization methods, to determine their spatial and temporal impacts on actual evapotranspiration, streamflow, and soil moisture. The parameterization methods used include: (i) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) observations from MODIS; (ii) seasonally-averaged NDVI patterns, cell-based and landuse-based; and (iii) literature-based tabular values per land use type. The analysis shows that the influence of different kc parametrization methods on basin-level streamflow is relatively small and constant throughout the year, but it has a bigger effect on seasonal evapotranspiration and soil moisture. In the autumn especially, deviations can go up to about 15% of monthly streamflow. At smaller, sub-basin scale, deviations from the NDVI-based reference run can be more than 30%. Overall, the study shows that modeling of future hydrological changes can be improved by using remote sensing information for the parameterization of crop coefficients. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrological modeling; crop coefficient; scale; NDVI; catchment hydrology; evapotranspiration hydrological modeling; crop coefficient; scale; NDVI; catchment hydrology; evapotranspiration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hunink, J.E.; Eekhout, J.P.C.; Vente, J.D.; Contreras, S.; Droogers, P.; Baille, A. Hydrological Modelling using Satellite-Based Crop Coefficients: A Comparison of Methods at the Basin Scale. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 174.

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