Summary Results from:

Water balance_based actual evapotranspiration reconstruction from ground and satellite observations over the conterminous United States
As they relate to the validation of mod16

Authors: Wan, Z., Zhang, K., Xue, X., Hong, Z., Hong, Y. and Gourley, J.J.

Source: Water Resources Research, 51(8), pp.6485-6499

Link to: Access Publication


The objective of this study is to produce an observationally based monthly evapotranspiration (ET) product using the simple water balance equation across the conterminous United States (CONUS). We adopted the best quality ground and satellite_based observations of the water budget components, i.e., precipitation, runoff, and water storage change, while ET is computed as the residual. Precipitation data are provided by the bias_corrected PRISM observation_based precipitation data set, while runoff comes from observed monthly streamflow values at 592 USGS stream gauging stations that have been screened by strict quality controls. We developed a land surface model_based downscaling approach to disaggregate the monthly GRACE equivalent water thickness data to daily, 0.125° values. The derived ET computed as the residual from the water balance equation is evaluated against three sets of existing ET products. The similar spatial patterns and small differences between the reconstructed ET in this study and the other three products show the reliability of the observationally based approach. The new ET product and the disaggregated GRACE data provide a unique, important hydro_meteorological data set that can be used to evaluate the other ET products as a benchmark data set, assess recent hydrological and climatological changes, and terrestrial water and energy cycle dynamics across the CONUS. These products will also be valuable for studies and applications in drought assessment, water resources management, and climate change evaluation.