A Multi-Platform Approach to Generate Gridded Surface Evaporation


Evapotranspiration is an integral component of the surface water balance.  While there are many estimates of evapotranspiration, there are fewer estimates that partition evapotranspiration into evaporation and transpiration components. My work aims to generate a CONUS-scale, observationally-based soil evaporation dataset by using the time difference of surface soil moisture by Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite with adjustments for transpiration and a bottom flux out of the surface layer. In concert with SMAP, the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite, North American Land Data Assimilation Systems (NLDAS) and the Hydrus-1D model are used to fully analyze the surface water balance. A biome specific estimate of the total terrestrial ET is calculated through a variation of the Penman-Monteith equation with NLDAS forcing and NLDAS Noah Model output for meteorological variables. A root density restriction and SMAP-based soil moisture restriction are applied to obtain terrestrial transpiration estimates. By forcing Hydrus-1D with NLDAS meteorology and our terrestrial transpiration estimates, an estimate of the flux between the soil surface and root zone layers will dictate the proportion of water that is available for soil evaporation.  After constraining transpiration and the bottom flux from the surface layer, we estimate soil evaporation as the residual of the surface water balance.  Application of this method at Fluxnet sites shows soil evaporation estimates of approximately 0­3 mm/day and less than ET estimates. Expanding this methodology to produce a gridded product for CONUS, and eventually a global-scale product, will enable a better understanding of water balance processes and contribute a dataset to validate land-surface model’s surface flux processes.