Estimation of Actual Crop ET of Paddy Using the Energy Balance Model SMARET and Validation with Field Water Balance Measurements and a Crop Growth Model (ORYZA)

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Nithila Devi Nallasamy, Bindhu v Muraleedharan, Karpagam Kathirvel and Balaji Narasimhan, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India
Sustainable management of water resources requires reliable estimates of actual evapotranspiration (ET) at fine spatial and temporal resolution. This is significant in the case of rice based irrigation systems, one of the major consumers of surface water resources and where ET forms a major component of water consumption. However huge tradeoff in the spatial and temporal resolution of satellite images coupled with lack of adequate number of cloud free images within a growing season act as major constraints in deriving ET at fine spatial and temporal resolution using remote sensing based energy balance models. The scale at which ET is determined is decided by the spatial and temporal scale of Land Surface Temperature (LST) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), which form inputs to energy balance models. In this context, the current study employed disaggregation algorithms (NL-DisTrad and DisNDVI) to generate time series of LST and NDVI images at fine resolution. The disaggregation algorithms aimed at generating LST and NDVI at finer scale by integrating temporal information from concurrent coarse resolution data and spatial information from a single fine resolution image. The temporal frequency of the disaggregated images is further improved by employing composite images of NDVI and LST in the spatio-temporal disaggregation method. The study further employed half-hourly incoming surface insolation and outgoing long wave radiation obtained from the Indian geostationary satellite (Kalpana-1) to convert the instantaneous ET into daily ET and subsequently to the seasonal ET, thereby improving the accuracy of ET estimates. The estimates of ET were validated with field based water balance measurements carried out in Gadana, a subbasin predominated by rice paddy fields, located in Tamil Nadu, India.