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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361010

Research Project: Precipitation and Irrigation Management to Optimize Profits from Crop Production

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Dynamics of sensible heat in a semi-arid environment

item Moorhead, Jerry
item Marek, Gary
item Gowda, Prasanna
item MAREK, THOMAS - Texas A&M Agrilife

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2019
Publication Date: 7/9/2019
Citation: Moorhead, J.E., Marek, G.W., Gowda, P.H., Marek, T.H. 2019. Dynamics of sensible heat in a semi-arid environment [abstract]. ASABE Annual International Meeting, July 7-10, 2019, in Boston, MA. Paper No. 1901903.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important component in the water budget and used extensively in water resources management, such as water planning and irrigation scheduling. In semi-arid regions, irrigation is used to supplement limited and erratic growing season rainfall to meet crop water demand. Although lysimetry is considered the most accurate method for crop water use measurements, large precision weighing lysimeters are expensive to build and operate. Alternatively, other measurement systems such as eddy covariance (EC) and scintillometry are being used to estimate crop water use. However, due to numerous explicit and implicit assumptions in the EC method, an energy balance closure problem is widely acknowledged. Path integrating capabilities of scintillometers over several kilometers have the potential to bridge the gap between primary, more local observations (lysimeters, Bowen ratio, or eddy covariance) and the demand for large-scale spatially averaged surface heat fluxes. However, inherent errors associated with scintillation measurements by widely available visible and infrared scintillometers may propagate errors in estimating surface energy fluxes. Numerous studies have evaluated the measurement accuracy of scintillometers using eddy covariance systems; however, the energy balance closure problems with EC measurements may not allow for a thorough evaluation. In this study, an EC and a visible surface layer scintillometer (SLS) were deployed in a lysimeter field at the USDA-ARS-Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in Bushland, TX, for the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons. Dynamics of sensible heat were investigated by combining data from EC, SLS, remote sensing, and a large weighing lysimeter.