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Water 2017, 9(10), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100734

A Comparative Study of Potential Evapotranspiration Estimation by Eight Methods with FAO Penman–Monteith Method in Southwestern China

1
College of Forestry, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
2
School of Resources and Environment, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract

Potential evapotranspiration (PET) is crucial for water resources assessment. In this regard, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)–Penman–Monteith method (PM) is commonly recognized as a standard method for PET estimation. However, due to requirement of detailed meteorological data, the application of PM is often constrained in many regions. Under such circumstances, an alternative method with similar efficiency to that of PM needs to be identified. In this study, three radiation-based methods, Makkink (Mak), Abtew (Abt), and Priestley–Taylor (PT), and five temperature-based methods, Hargreaves–Samani (HS), Thornthwaite (Tho), Hamon (Ham), Linacre (Lin), and Blaney–Criddle (BC), were compared with PM at yearly and seasonal scale, using long-term (50 years) data from 90 meteorology stations in southwest China. Indicators, viz. (videlicet) Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE), relative error (Re), normalized root mean squared error (NRMSE), and coefficient of determination (R2) were used to evaluate the performance of PET estimations by the above-mentioned eight methods. The results showed that the performance of the methods in PET estimation varied among regions; HS, PT, and Abt overestimated PET, while others underestimated. In Sichuan basin, Mak, Abt and HS yielded similar estimations to that of PM, while, in Yun-Gui plateau, Abt, Mak, HS, and PT showed better performances. Mak performed the best in the east Tibetan Plateau at yearly and seasonal scale, while HS showed a good performance in summer and autumn. In the arid river valley, HS, Mak, and Abt performed better than the others. On the other hand, Tho, Ham, Lin, and BC could not be used to estimate PET in some regions. In general, radiation-based methods for PET estimation performed better than temperature-based methods among the selected methods in the study area. Among the radiation-based methods, Mak performed the best, while HS showed the best performance among the temperature-based methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: potential evapotranspiration; FAO–Penman–Monteith; radiation-based methods; temperature-based methods; southwestern China potential evapotranspiration; FAO–Penman–Monteith; radiation-based methods; temperature-based methods; southwestern China
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Lang, D.; Zheng, J.; Shi, J.; Liao, F.; Ma, X.; Wang, W.; Chen, X.; Zhang, M. A Comparative Study of Potential Evapotranspiration Estimation by Eight Methods with FAO Penman–Monteith Method in Southwestern China. Water 2017, 9, 734.

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