Evaluation of six potential evapotranspiration models for estimating crop potential and actual evapotranspiration in arid regions

Sien Li*, Shaozhong Kang, Lu Zhang, Jianhua ZHANG, Taisheng Du, Ling Tong, Risheng Ding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using potential evapotranspiration (PET) to estimate crop actual evapotranspiration (AET) is a critical approach in hydrological models. However, which PET model performs best and can be used to predict crop AET over the entire growth season in arid regions still remains unclear. The six frequently-used PET models, i.e. Blaney-Criddle (BC), Hargreaves (HA), Priestley-Taylor (PT), Dalton (DA), Penman (PE) and Shuttleworth (SW) models were considered and evaluated in the study. Five-year eddy covariance data over the maize field and vineyard in arid northwest China were used to examine the accuracy of PET models in estimating daily crop AET. Results indicate that the PE, SW and PT models underestimated daily ET by less than 6% with RMSE lower than 35 W m−2 during the four years, while the BC, HA and DA models under-predicted daily ET approximately by 10% with RMSE higher than 40 W m−2. Compared to BC, HA and DA models, PE, SW and PT models were more reliable and accurate for estimating crop PET and AET in arid regions. Thus the PE, SW and PT models were recommended for predicting crop evapotranspiration in hydrological models in arid regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-461
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume543
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Water Science and Technology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Actual evapotranspiration
  • Canopy conductance
  • Crop coefficient
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Penman model
  • Potential evapotranspiration

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