Suleiman, A, Al-Bakri, J, Duqqah, M, Crago, R (2008). Intercomparison of Evapotranspiration Estimates at the Different Ecological Zones in Jordan. JOURNAL OF HYDROMETEOROLOGY, 9(5), 903-919.
An estimate of evapotranspiration (ET) is needed for many applications in diverse disciplines such as agriculture, hydrology, and meteorology. The objective of this study was to compare two methods for estimating daily actual ET (ETa) from six sites located in four different ecological zones within Jordan. The first method used the analytical land-atmosphere radiometer model (ALARM) and the dimensionless temperature procedure, whereas the second method used ETa calculated from the FAO-56 reference evapotranspiration. ALARM converts general remotely sensed surface temperatures to aerodynamic temperature. Standard meteorological data from weather stations were used with both methods, and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based leaf area index, surface temperature, and albedo were obtained to estimate ETa, using the former method. A validation study was conducted on an alfalfa field in Jordan Valley using ALARM and the American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) method, which is very similar to FAO-56 except it uses alfalfa as a reference crop. Because this alfalfa field was irrigated and because of warm air advection, ET rates based on measurements of soil moisture change ranged from about 6 to 10 mm day(-1). For this range, the root-mean-square error (RMSE) for ALARM was 0.87 mm day(-1) and the coefficient of determination r(2) was 0.36, whereas the RMSE for ASCE was 1.25 mm day(-1) and r(2) = 0.06. There was good agreement between minimum, maximum, and average ETa for the two methods at all sites except for Irbid, for which the minimum and, consequently, the average were different. Much of the site-to-site and temporal variability was found to be statistically significant. Reasons for this variability include soil types, vegetation cover, irrigation, and warm advection.