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An evaluation of common evapotranspiration equations


A comparison is made between the Pruitt and Doorenbos version of an hourly Penman-type equation, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) hourly Penman-Monteith equation, and an independent measure of reference evapotranspiration (ET0) from lysimeter data. Reducing the canopy resistance improved the hourly FAO Penman-Monteith estimates. Daytime soil heat flux density is estimated as 10% of net radiation in the FAO hourly Penman-Monteith equation; however, the measured soil heat flux density under grass that was never shorter than 0.10 m in this study was between 3% and 5% of net radiation. The daytime totals of hourly ET0 from the hourly Penman-Monteith and Pruitt-Doorenbos equations and ET0 from the 24-h FAO Penman-Monteith equation were computed using data from five Italian and five Californian stations. A comparison showed that all of the equations gave acceptable results. The Pruitt-Doorenbos equation may slightly over-estimate ET0 in conditions of summertime cold air advection.

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Received: 18 November 1998

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Ventura, F., Spano, D., Duce, P. et al. An evaluation of common evapotranspiration equations. Irrig Sci 18, 163–170 (1999).

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  • Agriculture Organization
  • Independent Measure
  • Heat Flux
  • Acceptable Result
  • Reference Evapotranspiration