Journal of Environmental Hydrology
Electronic Journal of the International Association for Environmental Hydrology
JEH Volume 15 (2007), Paper 2 Posted January 31, 2007
MODELING EVAPOTRANSPIRATION IN A SUB-TROPICAL CLIMATE
Evapotranspiration (ET) loss is estimated at about 80-85% of annual precipitation in South Florida. Accurate prediction of ET is important during and beyond the implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). In the USDA’s Everglades Agro-Hydrology Model (EAHM) the soil water intake is linked with the soil water redistribution, soil evaporation, plant transpiration, subsurface lateral flow and subsurface drainage to calculate daily root zone soil water content. Hydrometeorological data from three sites with different soil moisture content and vegetal cover were used to evaluate the EAHM ET routine. In general, the EAHM water balance sub-model simulated the daily ET with acceptable accuracy in the area with standing water (Everglades) while using the Penman method. However, in the area with grass cover, there was a discrepancy between the model simulated and measured ET using either the Penman or the Priestley-Taylor method. The results indicated that in the region with two distinct climate patterns: dry (low humidity, more wind, and less precipitation) and wet (high humidity, less wind and more rainfall) such as South Florida, a combination method like Penman should be used for prediction of daily ET. However, in order to improve the predictability of the ET methods, information about surface albedo is needed for land surfaces with grass vegetation during the growing season.
Reference: Savabi, M.R., T.A. Cochrane, E. German, C. Ikiz, and N. Cockshutt. 2007. Modeling evapotranspiration in a sub-tropical climate. Journal of Environmental Hydrology, Vol. 15, Paper 2.
Subtropical Horticulture Research Station
13601 Old Cutler Road
Miami, FL 33158 USA
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