Water Resources Management

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 3493–3506 | Cite as

A Modified SEBAL Modeling Approach for Estimating Crop Evapotranspiration in Semi-arid Conditions

  • Giorgos PapadavidEmail author
  • Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis
  • Leonidas Toulios
  • Silas Michaelides


Remote sensing methods are becoming attractive to estimate crop evapotranspiration, as they cover large areas and can provide accurate and reliable estimations; intensive field monitoring is also not required, although some ground-truth measurements can be helpful in interpreting satellite images. For the purposes of this paper, modeling and remote sensing techniques were integrated for estimating actual evapotranspiration of groundnuts (Arachishypogaea, L.) that is cultivated near Mandria Village in Paphos District of Cyprus. The Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL) was adopted for the first time in Cyprus, employing the essential adaptations for local soil and meteorological conditions. Landsat-5 TM and 7 ETM+ images were used to retrieve the needed spectral data. The SEBAL model is enhanced with empirical equations determined as part of the present study, regarding crop canopy factors, in order to increase its accuracy. Maps of ETa were created using the SEBAL modified model (CYSEBAL) for the area of interest. The results have been compared to the measurements from an evaporation pan (which was used as a reference) and those of the original SEBAL model. The statistical comparison has shown that the modified SEBAL yields results that are comparable to those of the evaporation pan. T-test application has revealed that the statistical difference between SEBAL and CYSEBAL is significant and quite crucial, especially in a place with limited surface and underground water resources.


SEBAL model Evapotranspiration Crop canopy factors Remote sensing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgos Papadavid
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis
    • 2
  • Leonidas Toulios
    • 3
  • Silas Michaelides
    • 4
  1. 1.Agricultural Research InstituteNicosiaCyprus
  2. 2.Department of Civil Engineering & GeomaticsCyprus University of TechnologyLemesosCyprus
  3. 3.National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF)LarissaGreece
  4. 4.Cyprus Meteorological ServiceNicosiaCyprus

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