Articles | Volume 14, issue 3
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 573–584, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-14-573-2010

Special issue: Observing and modeling the catchment-scale water cycle

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 573–584, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-14-573-2010

  24 Mar 2010

24 Mar 2010

Estimation of evapotranspiration in the Mu Us Sandland of China

S. Liu1, J. Bai1, Z. Jia1, L. Jia2, H. Zhou3, and L. Lu4 S. Liu et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands
  • 3Beijing Landview Mapping Information Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing, 100096, China
  • 4Meteorological Information Center of Beijng, Beijng Meteorological Bureau, Beijing, 100089, China

Abstract. Evapotranspiration (ET) was estimated from 1981–2005 over Wushen County located in the Mu Us Sandland, China, by applying the Advection-Aridity model, which is based on the complementary relationship hypothesis. We used National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and meteorological data. Our results show that the estimated daily ET was about 4.5% higher than measurements using an Eddy Covariance (EC) system after forcing energy balance closure over an alfalfa field from 22 July 2004 to 23 August 2004. At a regional scale, the estimated monthly ET was about 8.7% lower than measurements using the EC system after forcing energy balance closure over an alfalfa field in August 2004. These results were about 3.0% higher than ET measurements by microlysimeter over sand dunes during June 1988. From 1981 to 2005, the average annual ET and precipitation levels were 287 mm and 336 mm, respectively, in Wushen County. The average annual ET varied from 230 mm in western parts of Wushen County to 350 mm in eastern parts of the county. Both inter-annual and seasonal variations in ET were substantial in Wushen County. The annual ET was 200–400 mm from 1981–2005, and the seasonal pattern of ET showed a single peak distribution. The cumulative ET during the June–September 2004 period was 250 mm, which was 87% of the total annual ET. The annual ET, precipitation, and the maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVImax) showed positive correlations temporally and spatially.