At which timescale does the complementary principle perform best in evaporation estimation?

Wang, Liming; Han, Songjun; Tian, Fuqiang

The complementary principle has been widely used to estimate evaporation under different conditions. However, it remains unclear at which timescale the complementary principle performs best. In this study, evaporation estimations were conducted at 88 eddy covariance (EC) monitoring sites at multiple timescales (daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly) by using sigmoid and polynomial generalized complementary functions. The results indicate that the generalized complementary functions exhibit the highest skill in estimating evaporation at the monthly scale. The uncertainty analysis shows that this conclusion is not affected by ecosystem type or energy balance closure method. Through comparisons at multiple timescales, we found that the slight difference between the two generalized complementary functions only exists when the independent variable (inline-formulax) in the functions approaches 1. The results differ for the two models at daily and weekly scales. However, such differences vanish at monthly and annual timescales, with few high inline-formulax values occurring. This study demonstrates the applicability of generalized complementary functions across multiple timescales and provides a reference for choosing a suitable time step for evaporation estimations in relevant studies.

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Wang, Liming / Han, Songjun / Tian, Fuqiang: At which timescale does the complementary principle perform best in evaporation estimation?. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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