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Open AccessArticle

Testing the Symmetric Assumption of Complementary Relationship: A Comparison between the Linear and Nonlinear Advection-Aridity Models in a Large Ephemeral Lake

1
Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
2
Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
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School of Earth Science and Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 211100, China
4
Hydrological Bureau of Jingdezhen City, Jingdezhen 333003, China
5
Hydrological Bureau of Poyang Lake, Jiujiang 332800, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081574
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 21 July 2019 / Accepted: 24 July 2019 / Published: 30 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
The accuracy of a complementary relationship (CR) evapotranspiration (ET) model depends on how to parameterize the relationship between apparent potential ET and actual ET as the land surface changes from wet to dry. Yet, the validity of its inherent symmetric assumption of the original CR framework, i.e., the B value equal to one, is controversial. In this study, we conduct a comparative study between a linear, symmetric version (B = 1) and a nonlinear, asymmetric version (B is not necessarily equal to 1) of the advection-aridity (AA) CR model in a large ephemeral lake, which experiences dramatic changes in surface/atmosphere humidity. The results show that B was typically 1.1 ± 1.4 when ET ≤ ETPT ≤ ETPM, where ETPM and ETPT are estimated using the Penman (PM) and Priestley–Taylor (PT) equations, respectively; the AA model performed reasonably well in this case. However, the value of B can be negative and deviate from 1 significantly if the inequality ET ≤ ETPT ≤ ETPM is violated, which is quite common in humid environments. Because the actual ET can be negatively (B > 0) or positively (B < 0) related to the evaporative demand of the air, the nonlinear AA model generally performs better than the AA model if ET ≤ ETPM is satisfied. Although B is not significantly correlated with the atmospheric relative humidity (RH), both models, especially the nonlinear AA model, resulted in negative biases when ET > ETPM, which generally occur at high RH conditions. Both the linear and the nonlinear AA models performed better under higher water level conditions, however, our study highlights the need for higher-order (≥3) polynomial functions when CR models are applied in humid environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: complementary relationship; Advection-Aridity ET models; surface/atmosphere humidity changes complementary relationship; Advection-Aridity ET models; surface/atmosphere humidity changes
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Gan, G.; Liu, Y.; Pan, X.; Zhao, X.; Li, M.; Wang, S. Testing the Symmetric Assumption of Complementary Relationship: A Comparison between the Linear and Nonlinear Advection-Aridity Models in a Large Ephemeral Lake. Water 2019, 11, 1574.

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