Evapotranspiration and evaporation/transpiration partitioning with dual source energy balance models in agricultural lands
EvapoTranspiration (ET) is an important component of the water cycle, especially in semi-arid lands. Its quantification is crucial for a sustainable management of scarce water resources. A way to quantify ET is to exploit the available surface temperature data from remote sensing as a signature of the surface energy balance, including the latent heat flux. Remotely sensed energy balance models enable to estimate stress levels and, in turn, the water status of most continental surfaces. The evaporation and transpiration components of ET are also just as important in agricultural water management and ecosystem health monitoring. Single temperatures can be used with dual source energy balance models but rely on specific assumptions on raw levels of plant water stress to get both components out of a single source of information. Additional information from remote sensing data are thus required, either something specifically related to evaporation (such as surface water content) or transpiration (such as PRI or fluorescence). This works evaluates the SPARSE dual source energy balance model ability to compute not only total ET, but also water stress and transpiration/evaporation components. First, the theoretical limits of the ET component retrieval are assessed through a simulation experiment using both retrieval and prescribed modes of SPARSE with the sole surface temperature. A similar work is performed with an additional constraint, the topsoil surface soil moisture level, showing the significant improvement on the retrieval. Then, a flux dataset acquired over rainfed wheat is used to check the robustness of both stress levels and ET retrievals. In particular, retrieval of the evaporation and transpiration components is assessed in both conditions (forcing by the sole temperature or the combination of temperature and soil moisture). In our example, there is no significant difference in the performance of the total ET retrieval, since the evaporation rate retrieved from the sole surface temperature is already fairly close to the one we can reconstruct from observed surface soil moisture time series, but current work is underway to test it over other plots.