Estimation of evaporation over the Upper Blue Nile basin by combining observations from satellites and river flow gauges


Title Estimation of evaporation over the Upper Blue Nile basin by combining observations from satellites and river flow gauges
Publication Type Journal Article
Year of Publication 2016
Authors Mariam M. Allam, Anjuli Jain Figueroa, Dennis B. McLaughlin, Elfatih A. B. Eltahir
Journal Water Resources Research
Date Published 7 January 2016
Abstract

Reliable estimates of regional evapotranspiration are necessary to improve water resources management and planning. However, direct measurements of evaporation are expensive and difficult to obtain. Some of the difficulties are illustrated in a comparison of several satellite-based estimates of evapotranspiration for the Upper Blue Nile (UBN) basin in Ethiopia. These estimates disagree both temporally and spatially. All the available data products underestimate evapotranspiration leading to basin-scale mass balance errors on the order of 35 percent of the mean annual rainfall. This paper presents a methodology that combines satellite observations of rainfall, terrestrial water storage as well as river-flow gauge measurements to estimate actual evapotranspiration over the UBN basin. The estimates derived from these inputs are constrained using a one-layer soil water balance and routing model. Our results describe physically consistent long-term spatial and temporal distributions of key hydrologic variables, including rainfall, evapotranspiration, and river-flow. We estimate an annual evapotranspiration over the UBN basin of about 2.55 mm per day. Spatial and Temporal evapotranspiration trends are revealed by dividing the basin into smaller sub-basins. The methodology described here is applicable to other basins with limited observational coverage that are facing similar future challenges of water scarcity and climate change. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015WR017251/abstract
DOI 10.1002/2015WR017251
File:
Allam_et_al-2016-Water_Resources_Research-2.pdf
Relevant Projects:
Integrated Water Resources Management in the Blue Nile basin
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