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Variation in the estimations of ETo and crop water use due to the sensor accuracy of the meteorological variables

AuthorsMoratiel Yungueros, Rubén; Martínez-Cob, Antonio CSIC; Latorre Garcés, Borja CSIC ORCID
Issue DateJun-2013
PublisherEuropean Geosciences Union
CitationMoratiel R, Martínez-Cob A, Latorre B. Variation in the estimations of ETo and crop water use due to the sensor accuracy of the meteorological variables. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 13 (6): 1401-1410 (2013)
AbstractIn agricultural ecosystems the use of evapotran- spiration (ET) to improve irrigation water management is generally widespread. Commonly, the crop ET (ET c ) is es- timated by multiplying the reference crop evapotranspiration (ET o ) by a crop coefficient ( K c ). Accurate estimation of ET o is critical because it is the main factor affecting the calcula- tion of crop water use and water management. The ET o is generally estimated from recorded meteorological variables at reference weather stations. The main objective of this pa- per was assessing the effect of the uncertainty due to ran- dom noise in the sensors used for measurement of meteo- rological variables on the estimation of ET o , crop ET and net irrigation requirements of grain corn and alfalfa in three irrigation districts of the middle Ebro River basin. Five sce- narios were simulated, four of them individually considering each recorded meteorological variable (temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation and wind speed) and a fifth sce- nario combining together the uncertainty of all sensors. The uncertainty in relative humidity for irrigation districts Rie- gos del Alto Arag ́ on (RAA) and Bardenas (BAR), and tem- perature for irrigation district Canal de Arag ́ on y Catalu ̃ na (CAC), were the two most important factors affecting the es- timation of ET o , corn ET (ET c corn ), alfalfa ET (ET c alf ), net corn irrigation water requirements (IRn corn ) and net alfalfa irrigation water requirements (IRn alf ). Nevertheless, this ef- fect was never greater than ± 0 . 5 % over annual scale time. The wind speed variable (Scenario 3) was the third variable more influential in the fluctuations ( ± ) of evapotranspiration, followed by solar radiation. Considering the accuracy for all sensors over annual scale time, the variation was about ± 1 % of ET o , ET c corn , ET c alf , IRn corn , and IRn alf . The fluctua- tions of evapotranspiration were higher at shorter time scale. ET o daily fluctuation remained lower than 5 % during the growing season of corn and alfalfa. This estimation fluctu- ation in ET o , ET c corn , ET c alf , IRn corn , and IRn alf at daily time scale was within an acceptable range, and it can be con- sidered that the sensor accuracy of the meteorological vari- ables is not significant in the estimation of ET o .
Description10 Pags., 9 Tabls., 2 Figs.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/nhess-13-1401-2013
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