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Kim, JY, Hogue, TS (2008). Evaluation of a MODIS-based potential evapotranspiration product at the point scale. JOURNAL OF HYDROMETEOROLOGY, 9(3), 444-460.

This paper outlines the development of a continuous, daily time series of potential evapotranspiration (PET) using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor data from the Terra satellite platform. The approach is based on the Priestley - Taylor equation, incorporating a daily net radiation model during cloudless days. A simple algorithm using theoretical clear-sky net radiation (incorporating daily cloud fraction and cloud optical thickness) and PET is then used to estimate net radiation and PET under cloudy conditions. The method requires minimal ground-based observations for initial calibration of regional radiation algorithm coefficients. Point-scale comparisons are undertaken at four flux-tower sites in North America covering a range of hydroclimatic conditions and biomes. Preliminary results at the daily time step for a 4-yr period (2001 - 04) show good correlation (R-2 = 0.89) and low bias (0.34 mm day(-1)) for three of the more humid sites. Results are further improved when aggregated to the monthly time scale (R-2 = 0.95, bias = 0.31 mm day(-1)). Performance at the semiarid site is less satisfactory (R-2 = 0.95, bias = 2.05 mm day(-1) at the daily time step). In general, the MODIS-based daily PET estimates derived in this study are promising and show the potential for use in theoretical and operational water resource studies in both gauged and ungauged basins.



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