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Mapping surface energy flux partitioning at large scales with optical and microwave remote sensing data from Washita '92



Mapping surface energy flux partitioning at large scales with optical and microwave remote sensing data from Washita '92



Water Resources Research 35(1): 265-277



A model evaluating the energy balance of the soil/substrate and vegetation (i.e., two-source) was applied to remotely sensed near-surface soil moisture maps generated from passive microwave data collected during the Washita '92 experiment. Model parameters were derived from a soil texture and a land-use/land cover database along with a normalized difference vegetation index map created from a SPOT satellite image. The Bowen ratio (BO, ratio of sensible to latent heat flux) was used for investigating the temporal and spatial variability in model output. Comparisons between predicted and observed heat fluxes were made with values summed over the daytime period. Daily maps of midday BO indicated areas with low vegetation cover or bare soil and senescent vegetation were drying out significantly (i.e. dramatic increases in BO) while other areas with higher vegetation cover showed smaller increases in BO in response to a drying soil surface. This result agrees with the profile soil moisture and surface flux observations indicating adequate moisture was available to the vegetation for meeting atmospheric demand. The predicted daytime fluxes agreed to within 1 mm of the observations with approximately equal to 25% difference between modeled and observed daytime evapotranspiration. Differences between modeled and measured surface temperatures averaged approximately equal to 2 K. The discrepancies between model output and observations are similar to the uncertainty in these measurements, indicating that the model provided reliable daytime energy flux maps for the Washita '92 study area using remotely sensed near-surface soil moisture.

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Accession: 003196472

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DOI: 10.1029/98WR02094


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