Location: Soil and Water Management Research
Title: Comparing SEBAL ET with lysimeter data in the semi-arid Texas High Plains Authors
Submitted to: Environmental and Water Resources Institute World Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 28, 2008
Publication Date: May 12, 2008
Citation: Gowda, P., Howell, T.A., Chavez Eguez, J.L., Copeland, K.S., Paul, G. 2008. Comparing SEBAL ET with lysimeter data in the semi-arid Texas High Plains. In: Proceedings of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute World Congress, May 12-16, 2008, Honolulu, Hawaii. 2008 CDROM. Interpretive Summary: Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL) is an algorithm used for deriving regional evapotranspiration maps from remote sensing data. This method has never been tested with lysimetric data for advective conditions of the Texas High Plains. In this study, we derived an evapotranspiration map by applying SEBAL on a Landsat 5 image and compared against measured data from four large weighing lysimeters located in the USDA-ARS research facility in Bushland, TX. Performance of SEBAL was excellent in determining evapotranspiration rate in irrigated fields. However, it performed poorly on dryland systems. Overall, it is a promising tool for mapping evapotranspiration in the extensively irrigated Texas High Plains.
Technical Abstract: Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL), a spatial evapotranspiration (ET) estimation method, has been applied with Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data throughout the world. However, it has never been tested for semiarid conditions of the Texas High Plains. In this study, SEBAL algorithm was applied to a Landsat TM image acquired on July 10, 2007 covering a major portion of the Texas High Plains. Performance of SEBAL was evaluated by comparing estimated ET with measured ET data on four large monolithic lysimeters at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, Bushland, TX. Comparison of SEBAL-estimated instantaneous ET values with lysimetric measurements indicated that SEBAL may provide better ET estimates for irrigated fields. However, it performed poorly in predicting ET for fields under dryland management. This result may indicate that SEBAL might be sensitive to errors in the selection of the hot/dry pixel. Overall, SEBAL is a promising tool for mapping ET in the extensively irrigated Texas High Plains. However, more evaluation is needed for different agroclimatological conditions in the region.