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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of Remote-Sensing based Estimates of Actual Evapotranspiration over (Diverse Shape and Sized) Palmiet Wetlands

Rhodes University, Artillery Rd, Grahamstown 6139, South Africa
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Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120491
Received: 23 September 2019 / Revised: 18 October 2019 / Accepted: 29 October 2019 / Published: 22 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrogeology)
Accurately quantifying actual evapotranspiration (ETa) over wetlands is important for the improved management of these ecosystems, since 65% of them are threatened by clearing or drainage in South Africa. This study evaluated a range of available estimates of ETa over six palmiet wetlands, which are key ecological structures in terms of water regulation and sediment trapping. The research compared three remote sensing based products (a local product, FruitLook, and two global data products, MOD16 ET and EEFlux) across different rainfall years (2008 to 2019). Their outputs were validated, where possible, with limited ground-based scintillometer data on the Krom palmiet wetland, which indicated that MOD16 and EEFlux were most representative of ground-based measurements. We also compared the small pixel size EEFlux data over three wetlands with ETa over increasing buffers of land cover (100, 500, 1000 m) in order to validate the perception of these wetlands being high water users. While larger wetlands had slightly higher evaporative demands than adjacent areas, ETa over a small wetland was similar to neighboring land cover. The results indicate that palmiet wetland ETa is highly variable and dependent on external factors such as climate, wetland size and seasonality. View Full-Text
Keywords: actual evapotranspiration; palmiet wetlands; remote sensing; scintillometer; hydrological model actual evapotranspiration; palmiet wetlands; remote sensing; scintillometer; hydrological model
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Ramatsabana, P.; Tanner, J.; Mantel, S.; Palmer, A.; Ezenne, G. Evaluation of Remote-Sensing based Estimates of Actual Evapotranspiration over (Diverse Shape and Sized) Palmiet Wetlands. Geosciences 2019, 9, 491.

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