Estimation of hourly land surface heat fluxes over the Tibetan Plateau by the combined use of geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites
Estimation of land surface heat fluxes is important for energy and water cycle studies, especially on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), where the topography is unique and the land–atmosphere interactions are strong. The land surface heating conditions also directly influence the movement of atmospheric circulation. However, high-temporal-resolution information on the plateau-scale land surface heat fluxes has been lacking for a long time, which significantly limits the understanding of diurnal variations in land–atmosphere interactions. Based on geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite data, the surface energy balance system (SEBS) was used in this paper to derive hourly land surface heat fluxes at a spatial resolution of 10 km. Six stations scattered throughout the TP and equipped for flux tower measurements were used to perform a cross-validation. The results showed good agreement between the derived fluxes and in situ measurements through 3738 validation samples. The root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) for net radiation flux, sensible heat flux, latent heat flux and soil heat flux were 76.63, 60.29, 71.03 and 37.5 W m−2, respectively; the derived results were also found to be superior to the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) flux products (with RMSEs for the surface energy balance components of 114.32, 67.77, 75.6 and 40.05 W m−2, respectively). The diurnal and seasonal cycles of the land surface energy balance components were clearly identified, and their spatial distribution was found to be consistent with the heterogeneous land surface conditions and the general hydrometeorological conditions of the TP.