Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 128, Issue 3–4, pp 745–759 | Cite as

Sensitivity analysis and comparison of various potential evapotranspiration formulae for selected Greek areas with different climate conditions

  • Spyridon Paparrizos
  • Fotios Maris
  • Andreas Matzarakis
Original Paper


Potential evapotranspiration (PET) is one of the most critical parameters in the research on agro-ecological systems. The computational methods for the estimation of PET vary in data demands from very simple (empirically based), requiring only information based on air temperatures, to complex ones (more physically based) that require data on radiation, relative humidity, wind speed, etc. The current research is focused on three study areas in Greece that face different climatic conditions due to their location. Twelve PET formulae were used, analyzed and inter-compared in terms of their sensitivity regarding their input coefficients for the Ardas River basin in north-eastern Greece, Sperchios River basin in Central Greece and Geropotamos River basin in South Greece. The aim was to compare all the methods and conclude to which empirical PET method(s) better represent the PET results in each area and thus should be adopted and used each time and which factors influence the results in each case. The results indicated that for the areas that face Mediterranean climatic conditions, the most appropriate method for the estimation of PET was the temperature-based, Hamon’s second version (PETHam2). Furthermore, the PETHam2 was able to estimate PET almost similarly to the average results of the 12 equations. For the Ardas River basin, the results indicated that both PETHam2 and PETHam1 can be used to estimate PET satisfactorily. Moreover, the temperature-based equations have proven to produce better results, followed by the radiation-based equations. Finally, PETASCE, which is the most commonly used PET equation, can also be applied occasionally in order to provide satisfactory results.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Spyridon Paparrizos
    • 1
  • Fotios Maris
    • 2
  • Andreas Matzarakis
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Albert-Ludwigs University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources Democritus University of ThraceOrestiadaGreece
  3. 3.Research Center Human-Biometeorology, German Meteorological ServiceFreiburgGermany

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