Location: Water Management Research
Title: Satellite-based assessment of water requirement for biofuel feedstock production in Maui, Hawaii Authors
Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 3, 2012
Publication Date: December 3, 2012
Citation: Zhang, H., Anderson, R.G., Wang, D. 2012. Satellite-based assessment of water requirement for biofuel feedstock production in Maui, Hawaii. American Geophysical Union. Paper No. H21F-1213. Technical Abstract: Water availability is one of the limiting factors for sustainable production of biofuel crops. A common method for determining crop water requirement is to multiply daily potential evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological parameters by a crop coefficient (Kc) to obtain actual crop evapotranspiration (ETc). Generic Kc values are available for many crop types but not for sugarcane in Maui, Hawaii, which grows on a relatively unstudied biennial cycle. In this study, an algorithm is being developed to estimate sugarcane Kc using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) obtained from Landsat 7 satellite images. Crop canopy cover was measured with a handheld multispectral camera from two sugarcane fields at the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) plantation during the Landsat 7 satellite overpass days. An Eddy Covariance (EC) tower system was set up within each of these two fields and gathered EC flux at a 30-minute interval. Reference evapotranspiration was calculated from the network of automated weather stations at HC&S plantation using a modified Penman equation. Crop canopy cover was highly correlated with satellite NDVI values. A linear relationship between NDVI and measured Kc was obtained. Satellite-based ETc maps of HC&S plantation were developed using the NDVI-based Kc values and reference ET from HC&S weather station network. The satellite-based ETc was compared and validated with field measurements of ET using Eddy Covariance tower. A series of satellite-based ETc maps were developed to indicate the water demand of sugarcane plants at HC&S plantation. These results validate the use of satellite imagery as a tool for estimation of ET of sugarcane plants in Maui, Hawaii.