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Evaporation from Nonvegetated Surfaces: Surface Aridity Methods and Passive Microwave Remote Sensing

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  • a Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • | b Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • | c USDA-ARS Hydrology Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland
  • | d NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Hydrological Sciences Branch, Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | e USDA-ARS Hydrology Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland
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Abstract

The use of remotely sensed near-surface soil moisture for the estimation of evaporation is investigated. Two widely used parameterizations of evaporation, the so-called α and β methods, which use near-surface soil moisture to reduce some measure of potential evaporation, are studied. The near-surface soil moisture is provided by a set of L- and S-band microwave radiometers, which were mounted 13 m above the surface. It is shown that soil moisture measured with a passive microwave sensor in combination with the β method yields reliable estimates of evaporation, whereas the α method is not as robust.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Anthony T. Cahill, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3136.

tcahill@civilmail.tamu.edu

Abstract

The use of remotely sensed near-surface soil moisture for the estimation of evaporation is investigated. Two widely used parameterizations of evaporation, the so-called α and β methods, which use near-surface soil moisture to reduce some measure of potential evaporation, are studied. The near-surface soil moisture is provided by a set of L- and S-band microwave radiometers, which were mounted 13 m above the surface. It is shown that soil moisture measured with a passive microwave sensor in combination with the β method yields reliable estimates of evaporation, whereas the α method is not as robust.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Anthony T. Cahill, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3136.

tcahill@civilmail.tamu.edu

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