Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403278

Research Project: Dryland and Irrigated Crop Management Under Limited Water Availability and Drought

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: 30+ years of ET, energy and water balance, weather, crop growth, and yield data in a semi-arid, continental climate

item Evett, Steven - Steve
item Marek, Gary
item Colaizzi, Paul
item Brauer, David
item HOWELL, SR., TERRY - Retired ARS Employee
item Ruthardt, Nathan
item Copeland, Karen

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2023
Publication Date: 10/24/2023
Citation: Evett, S.R., Marek, G.W., Colaizzi, P.D., Brauer, D.K., Howell, Sr., T.A., Ruthardt, N.B., Copeland, K.S. 2023. 30+ years of ET, energy and water balance, weather, crop growth, and yield data in a semi-arid, continental climate [abstract]. ASABE 2nd Global ET Symposium, October 23-27, 2023, University Park, Pennsylvania. Paper No. 23040.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Beginning in 1987, large, precision weighing lysimeters were used to measure soil, plant, atmosphere continuum water storage changes that occurred in the semi-arid, continental climate of the U.S. Southern High Plains at Bushland, Texas. Water storage changes were determined from 5-minute mean lysimeter mass data analyzed using algorithms and human intervention for detection of storage changes due to evapotranspiration (ET), dewfall and frost accumulation, precipitation, irrigation, noise, and maintenance and ancillary measurements. Other energy balance components were observed on a 15-minute mean basis using various radiation sensors (e.g., albedometers, pyrgeometers, net radiometers, PAR sensors, etc.), and soil heat flux sensors combined with soil temperature sensors. Air temperature and relative humidity, and wind speed were observed above the canopy, also on a 15-minute mean basis. Soil water content was observed periodically (often weekly) using a field-calibrated neutron probe in the lysimeters to 1.90-m depth and in the surrounding fields to 2.40-m depth, beginning at 0.10-m depth and continuing in 0.20-m depth increments below that. Plant growth was observed periodically throughout the growing season, and plant density and yield were measured. Weather (wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, solar irradiance, barometric pressure) data were observed at an adjacent weather station over irrigated and mowed grass at 2-m and 10-m heights on a 15-minute mean basis. Precipitation amounts were determined on a 15-minute basis from weighing lysimeter data after discovery that the 9 m2 lysimeter surface was a better rain gauge than the 20-cm orifice standard rain gauges. Quality control procedures were followed and have been described in various publications. Data are reported for all days of the year unless instrument failures or absences prevented data collection. Data for alfalfa (4 years), grain corn (maize, 6 years), soybean (5 years), sunflower (2 years), and winter wheat (3 seasons) are available in the public domain as machine readable files on the USDA ARS National Agriculture Library Ag Data Commons ( Soil water content data for all years are already available for years from 1988 to 2021. Data for cotton (10 years), and sorghum (13 years) will be made available in the coming months.