SENSITIVITY OF ACTUAL EVAPOTRANSPIRATION ESTIMATION USING THE SEBS MODEL TO VARIATION OF INPUT PARAMETERS (LST, DSSF, AERODYNAMICS PARAMETERS, LAI, FVC)
Actual Evapotranspiration (AET) is a key component of the water and energy balance and hydrological regime of catchments. A land surface energy balance system model (SEBS) was used to estimate the AET of the 160100-km² Medjerda river basin in Northern Tunisia. This model uses satellite data in combination with meteorological data. In this study, we investigated the sensitivity of the AET model output to five major input variables: the 30-minute Downward Surface Shortwave solar radiation fluxes (DSSF), and Land Surface Temperatures (LST), the roughness height for momentum transfer z0m, and the influence of the spatial resolution of satellite-based Leaf Area Index (LAI) and fraction of Vegetation Cover (FVC) estimates. The DSSF product was validated using a comparison to solar radiation estimates by the Angstrom formula based on in-situ station data. Gaps in the 15-min satellite-based land surface temperature time series were filled using a sinusoidal model on pixels containing meteorological stations. One-half to two standard deviations of the errors of the regression curves were applied to analyse the sensitivity of the SEBS output. Two methods to estimate the near surface aerodynamic parameter z0m were applied and compared. Maps of LAI and FVC derived from two sensors alternatively applied as an input to the SEBS model. A sensitivity analysis, performed in the first decade of May 2010, showed that SEBS model parameterization is quite sensitive in the forestland cover type. The difference can be up to 0.3 mm day−1. For agricultural land areas, representing an important percentage of the Medjerda basin, AET estimations based on the SEBS model proved to be used to satisfy the actual evapotranspiration estimates.