Articles | Volume 14, issue 1
11 Jan 2010
 | 11 Jan 2010

Actual daily evapotranspiration estimated from MERIS and AATSR data over the Chinese Loess Plateau

R. Liu, J. Wen, X. Wang, L. Wang, H. Tian, T. T. Zhang, X. K. Shi, J. H. Zhang, and SH. N. Lv

Abstract. The Chinese Loess Plateau is located in the north of China and has a significant impact on the climate and ecosystem evolvement over the East Asian continent. Estimates of evapotranspiration (ET) at a regional scale are in crucial need for climate studies, weather forecasts, hydrological surveys, ecological monitoring and water resource management. In this research, the ET of the Chinese Loess Plateau was estimated by using an energy balance approach and data collected during the LOess Plateau land-atmosphere interaction pilot EXperiments 2005 (LOPEX05). With the combined data of the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS), the Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) and some other variables such as air temperature, crop height and wind speed, the instantaneous net radiation, sensible heat flux and soil heat flux were calculated; the instantaneous latent heat flux was derived as the residual term of energy balance, and then converted to daily ET value by sunshine duration. The calculated daily ET from the model showed a good match with the measurements of the eddy covariance systems deployed in LOPEX05. The minimum relative error of this approach is 9.0%, the cause of the bias was also explored and discussed.