Irrigation Science

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 223–237 | Cite as

ET mapping for agricultural water management: present status and challenges

  • Prasanna H. Gowda
  • Jose L. Chavez
  • Paul D. Colaizzi
  • Steve R. Evett
  • Terry A. Howell
  • Judy A. Tolk
Original Paper


Evapotranspiration (ET) is an essential component of the water balance. Remote sensing based agrometeorological models are presently most suited for estimating crop water use at both field and regional scales. Numerous ET algorithms have been developed to make use of remote sensing data acquired by sensors on airborne and satellite platforms. In this paper, a literature review was done to evaluate numerous commonly used remote sensing based algorithms for their ability to estimate regional ET accurately. The reported estimation accuracy varied from 67 to 97% for daily ET and above 94% for seasonal ET indicating that they have the potential to estimate regional ET accurately. However, there are opportunities to further improving these models for accurately estimating all energy balance components. The spatial and temporal remote sensing data from the existing set of earth observing satellite platforms are not sufficient enough to be used in the estimation of spatially distributed ET for on-farm irrigation management purposes, especially at a field scale level (∼10 to 200 ha). This will be constrained further if the thermal sensors on future Landsat satellites are abandoned. However, research opportunities exist to improve the spatial and temporal resolution of ET by developing algorithms to increase the spatial resolution of reflectance and surface temperature data derived from Landsat/ASTER/MODIS images using same/other-sensor high resolution multi-spectral images.


Normalize Difference Vegetation Index Leaf Area Index Latent Heat Flux Heat Flux Eddy Covariance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prasanna H. Gowda
    • 1
  • Jose L. Chavez
    • 1
  • Paul D. Colaizzi
    • 1
  • Steve R. Evett
    • 1
  • Terry A. Howell
    • 1
  • Judy A. Tolk
    • 1
  1. 1.Conservation and Production Research LaboratoryUSDA-ARSBushlandUSA

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