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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Riverside, California » Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #366426

Research Project: Sustaining Irrigated Agriculture in an Era of Increasing Water Scarcity and Reduced Water Quality

Location: Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit

Title: ECOSTRESS: NASA’s next generation mission to measure evapotranspiration from the International Space Station

item FISHER, JOSHUA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
item LEE, BRIAN - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
item PURDY, ADAM - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
item HALVERSON, GREGORY - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
item DOHLEN, MATTHEW - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
item CAWSE-NICHOLSON, KERRY - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
item WANG, AUDREY - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
item Anderson, Raymond - Ray
item ARAGON, BRUNO - King Abdullah University Of Science And Technology
item ARAIN, M. ALTAF - McMaster University
item BALDOCCHI, DENNIS - University Of California
item Baker, John
item BARRAL, HELENE - University Of Montpellier
item Bernacchi, Carl
item BERNHOFER, CHRISTIAN - Technical University Dresden
item BIRAUD, SEBASTIEN - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
item BOHRER, GIL - The Ohio State University
item BRUNSELL, NATHANIEL - University Of Kansas
item CAPPELAERE, BERNARD - University Of Montpellier
item CASTRO-CONTRERAS, SAULO - University Of Alberta
item CHUN, JUNGHWA - National Institute Of Forest Science
item CONRAD, BRYAN - University Of Kansas
item CREMONESE, EDOARDO - Environmental Protection Agency Of Aosta Valley
item DEMARTY, JEROME - University Of Montpellier
item DESAI, ANKUR - University Of Wisconsin
item LIGNE, ANNE - University Of Liege
item FOLTÝNOVÁ, LENKA - Czech Academy Of Sciences
item GOULDEN, MICHAEL - University Of California
item GRIFFIS, TIMOTHY - University Of Minnesota
item GRUNWALD, THOMAS - Technical University Dresden
item JOHNSON, MARK - University Of British Columbia
item KANG, MINSEOK - National Center For Agrometeorology
item KELBE, DAVE - Xerra Earth Observation Institute
item KOWALSKA, NATALIA - Czech Academy Of Sciences
item LIM, JONG-HWAN - National Institute Of Forest Science
item MAINASSARA, IBRAHIM - University Of Montpellier
item MCCABE, MATTHEW - King Abdullah University Of Science And Technology
item MISSIK, JUSTINE - Washington State University
item MOHANTY, BINAYAK - Texas A&M University
item MOORE, CAITLIN - University Of Illinois
item MORILLAS, LAURA - University Of British Columbia
item MORRISON, ROSS - Centre For Ecology & Hydrology
item MUNGER, J. WILLIAM - Harvard University
item POSSE, GABRIELA - Instituto De Clima Y Agua (INTA)
item RICHARDSON, ANDREW - Northern Arizona University
item RUSSELL, ERIC - Washington State University
item RYU, YOUNGRYEL - Seoul National University
item SANCHEZ-AZOFEIFA, ARTURO - University Of Alberta
item SCHMIDT, MARIUS - Institute Of Bio- And Geosciences: Agrosphere (IBG-3)
item SCHWARTZ, EFRAT - Weizmann Institite Of Science
item SHARP, IAIN - University Of Alberta
item ŠIGUT, LADISLAV - Czech Academy Of Sciences
item TANG, YAO - Georgia Institute Of Technology
item HULLEY, GLYNN - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
item Anderson, Martha
item HAIN, CHRISTOPHER - Nasa Marshall Space Flight Center
item French, Andrew
item WOOD, ERIC - Princeton University
item HOOK, SIMON - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Submitted to: Water Resources Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2020
Publication Date: 4/6/2020
Publication URL:
Citation: Fisher, J.B., Lee, B., Purdy, A.J., Halverson, G.H., Dohlen, M.B., Cawse-Nicholson, K., Wang, A., Anderson, R.G., Aragon, B., Arain, M., Baldocchi, D.D., Baker, J.M., Barral, H., Bernacchi, C.J., Bernhofer, C., Biraud, S.C., Bohrer, G., Brunsell, N., Cappelaere, B., Castro-Contreras, S., Chun, J., Conrad, B.J., Cremonese, E., Demarty, J., Desai, A.R., Ligne, A.D., Foltýnová, L., Goulden, M.L., Griffis, T.J., Grunwald, T., Johnson, M.S., Kang, M., Kelbe, D., Kowalska, N., Lim, J., Mainassara, I., McCabe, M.F., Missik, J.E., Mohanty, B.P., Moore, C.E., Morillas, L., Morrison, R., Munger, J., Posse, G., Richardson, A.D., Russell, E.S., Ryu, Y., Sanchez-Azofeifa, A., Schmidt, M., Schwartz, E., Sharp, I., Šigut, L., Tang, Y., Hulley, G., Anderson, M.C., Hain, C., French, A.N., Wood, E., Hook, S. 2020. ECOSTRESS: NASA’s next generation mission to measure evapotranspiration from the International Space Station. Water Resources Research. 56(4). Article e2019WR026058.

Interpretive Summary: High resolution observations of evapotranspiration (ET) are needed for accurate agricultural water management and the most accurate regional ET observations come from satellites that include infrared imagery. However, current satellites with high resolution thermal imagery (such as Landsat) have long revisit times greater than two weeks, which limits their usefulness for within season water management. Recently, the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) mission was launched on the International Space Station. ECOSTRESS has high spatial thermal resolution (<100 m) and a short revisit interval (4 days) which makes it potentially very useful for field and regional scale agricultural water management. However, ECOSTRESS’s ability to observe ET needs validation. In this work, the ET algorithm for ECOSTRESS was compared to ET observations from a network of eddy covariance ET observations around the world, including numerous agricultural sites. ECOSTRESS accurately predicted ET with a strong correlation and low bias for different climatic regions and times of day. This research benefits irrigation managers, farmers, and consultants who need frequent, high-resolution data for accurate agricultural water management.

Technical Abstract: The ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) was launched to the International Space Station on 29 June 2018 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary science focus of ECOSTRESS is centered on evapotranspiration (ET), which is produced as Level-3 (L3) latent heat flux (LE) data products. These data are generated from the Level-2 land surface temperature and emissivity product (L2_LSTE), in conjunction with ancillary surface and atmospheric data. Here, we provide the first validation (Stage 1, preliminary) of the global ECOSTRESS clear-sky ET product (L3_ET_PT-JPL, Version 6.0) against LE measurements at 82 eddy covariance sites around the world. Overall, the ECOSTRESS ET product performs well against the site measurements (clear-sky instantaneous/time of overpass: r2 = 0.88; overall bias = 8%; normalized root-mean-square error, RMSE = 6%). ET uncertainty was generally consistent across climate zones, biome types, and times of day (ECOSTRESS samples the diurnal cycle), though temperate sites are overrepresented. The 70-m-high spatial resolution of ECOSTRESS improved correlations by 85%, and RMSE by 62%, relative to 1-km pixels. This paper serves as a reference for the ECOSTRESS L3 ET accuracy and Stage 1 validation status for subsequent science that follows using these data.