Submitted to: Methods of Soil Analysis
Publication Type: Monograph
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/23/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Evaporation of water from the surface to the atmosphere is a process of primary interest to soil scientists, agronomists, and meteorologists. It is the boundary condition on water flow in the soil/plant system and it is a major component of the surface energy balance, by which it exerts control on temperature, humidity, and weather/climate at a broad range of scales. Thus it is frequently necessary or desirable to measure evaporation. We describe all commonly used methods, both in the presence and absence of plants, discussing the fundamental basis, the strengths, and the limitations of each. The methods covered include lysimetry, microlysimetry, soil water balance, sap flow measurements, cuvette and chamber-based methods, micrometeorological techniques, and remote sensing/modeling approaches No single method is best for all circumstances, with the choice dependent on the desired spatial scale, the presence of vegetation, the horizontal homogeneity of the surface, the tim scale of interest, and the availability of equipment.