Performance of satellite-based evapotranspiration models in temperate pastures of southern Chile
Moletto Lobos, Ítalo
Mattar Bader, Cristián
Cita de ítem
Water 2020, 12, 3587
Farmers in the temperate zone of southern Chile have started to irrigate historically rainfed pastures during recent years to reduce dairy productivity losses against increasingly severe summer droughts. The lack of information on pasture water requirements (i.e., evapotranspiration), however, hampers the implementation of efficient irrigation programs. Here, we use in-situ observations to evaluate the skill of four remote sensing Surface Energy Balance (SEB) models and two satellite-based global evapotranspiration products (PML_V2 and GLEAM) to estimate actual evapotranspiration (ETa) of pastures in southern Chile during 2014-2017. Daily ETa measured at an evaluation site over the period ranges between 1.2 mm and 6.2 mm day(-1) during the growing season (October-March), with an annual maximum of about 4.8 mm day(-1) in January and a minimum 0.6 mm day(-1) in June. Only the Simplified SEB (SEBS) model and its operational variant (SSEBop) and the PML_V2 global evapotranspiration product perform well, capturing 63-79% of the variance of in-situ evapotranspiration with an error between 0.75 mm day(-1) and 1.1 mm day(-1). The readily available PML_V2 product can be used as a convenient way to determine average water footprint of pastures and the two SEBs models can be implemented to monitor irrigation requirements in near-real time from field to regional scales. These results demonstrated a high potential of satellite observations for monitoring evapotranspiration and quantify the water footprint of pastures in southern Chile for a sustainable irrigation practice.
Program of the "Fundacion para la Innovacion Agraria (FIA)" of the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture
Regional Government of the Los Lagos Region, Chile