Distributed Estimation of Actual Evapotranspiration Through Remote Sensing Techniques
Evapotranspiration (ET) is one of the main water balance components, and its actual value appears to be the most difficult to measure directly. Therefore, the choice of reliable models capable of predicting spatially distributed actual ET represents a drought monitoring fundamental aspect. This chapter presents a brief introduction to the main remote sensing methods for ET estimate and, by means of ground ET measurements carried out through eddy covariance systems at three different sites in southern Italy, analyzes the performance given by the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL) model using images of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on areas characterized by different physiographic and vegetative conditions (sparse vegetation, crop canopy and high mountain vegetation). The distributed results obtained for different days from summer 2004 to summer 2006 on a wide southern Italian area pointed out generally good ET predictions in the eddy covariance sites, also if some differences arose depending on the type and density of vegetation
KeywordsEvapotranspiration energy balance remote sensing SEBAL eddy covariance
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