A simple method using climatic variables to estimate canopy temperature, sensible and latent heat fluxes in a winterwheat field on the North China Plain

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Journal Article
Hydrological Processes, 2009, 23 (5), pp. 665 - 674
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Estimation of evapotranspiration from a crop field is of great importance for detecting crop water status and proper irrigation scheduling. The Penman-Monteith equation is widely viewed as the best method to estimate evapotranspiration but it requires canopy resistance, which is very difficult to determine in practice. This paper presents a simple method simplified from the Penman-Monteith equation for estimating canopy temperature (Tc). The proposed method is a biophysically-sound extended version of that proposed by Todorovic. The estimated canopy temperature is used to calculate sensible heat flux, and then latent heat flux is calculated as the residual of the surface energy balance. An eddy covariance (EC) system and an infrared thermometer (IRT) were installed in an irrigated winter wheat field on the North China Plain in 2004 and 2005, to measure Tc, and sensible and latent heat fluxes were used to test the modified Todorovic model (MTD). The results indicate that the original Todorovic model (TD) severely underestimates Tc and sensible heat flux, and hence severely overestimates the latent heat flux. However, the MTD model has good capability for estimating Tc, and gives acceptable results for latent heat flux at both half-hourly and daily scales. The MTD model results also agreed well with the evapotranspiration calculated from the measured Tc. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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