Combining a Large Aperture Scintillometer and estimates of available energy to derive evapotranspiration over several agricultural fields in sermi-arid regions.

Abstract : The objective of the present study was to investigate the potential of a large aperture scintillometer (LAS) combined with a simple available energy model to estimate area-averaged latent heat flux in difficult environmental conditions. The difficulties are related to the sparseness of the vegetation, the heterogeneity of the soil characteristics, and, most importantly, the heterogeneity in terms of soil moisture induced by the ‘‘flood irrigation'' method. In this context, three sites (Agdal, R3 and Saˆada) in the Tensift Al Haouz plain (region of Marrakech city, central Morocco) have been equipped with a LAS and eddy covariance (EC) system (local scale measurements). Agdal and R3 are a flood-irrigated olive yard and wheat field, respectively. Saˆada is a drip-irrigated orange orchard. Due to the irrigation method applied, the Agdal and R3 sites shifted from being almost homogeneous between two irrigations (dry conditions) and completely heterogeneous during the irrigation events (large variability of soil moisture along the site), while Saˆada was always heterogeneous, at least at the scintillometer footprint scale. Consequently, the comparison between the sensible heat fluxes derived from both LAS and EC showed a large scatter during the irrigation events, while a good correspondence was found in between two irrigations. It was also found that combining LAS and an estimate of the available energy (using a simple model) can provide reasonable large-scale evapotransipration estimates, which are of prime interest for irrigation management.
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J. Ezzahar, A. Chehbouni, J.C.B. Hoedjes, S. Er-Raki. Combining a Large Aperture Scintillometer and estimates of available energy to derive evapotranspiration over several agricultural fields in sermi-arid regions.. Plant Biosystems, Taylor & Francis, 2009, 143, pp.209-221. ⟨10.1080/11263500802710036⟩. ⟨ird-00389765⟩

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