Enhancing the Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEB) Approach for Estimating Landscape ET: Validation with the METRIC model

Agricultural Water Management
By: , and 



Evapotranspiration (ET) can be derived from satellite data using surface energy balance principles. METRIC (Mapping EvapoTranspiration at high Resolution with Internalized Calibration) is one of the most widely used models available in the literature to estimate ET from satellite imagery. The Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEB) model is much easier and less expensive to implement. The main purpose of this research was to present an enhanced version of the Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEB) model and to evaluate its performance using the established METRIC model. In this study, SSEB and METRIC ET fractions were compared using 7 Landsat images acquired for south central Idaho during the 2003 growing season. The enhanced SSEB model compared well with the METRIC model output exhibiting an r2 improvement from 0.83 to 0.90 in less complex topography (elevation less than 2000 m) and with an improvement of r2 from 0.27 to 0.38 in more complex (mountain) areas with elevation greater than 2000 m. Independent evaluation showed that both models exhibited higher variation in complex topographic regions, although more with SSEB than with METRIC. The higher ET fraction variation in the complex mountainous regions highlighted the difficulty of capturing the radiation and heat transfer physics on steep slopes having variable aspect with the simple index model, and the need to conduct more research. However, the temporal consistency of the results suggests that the SSEB model can be used on a wide range of elevation (more successfully up 2000 m) to detect anomalies in space and time for water resources management and monitoring such as for drought early warning systems in data scarce regions. SSEB has a potential for operational agro-hydrologic applications to estimate ET with inputs of surface temperature, NDVI, DEM and reference ET.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Enhancing the Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEB) Approach for Estimating Landscape ET: Validation with the METRIC model
Series title Agricultural Water Management
DOI 10.1016/j.agwat.2010.10.014
Volume 98
Issue 4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Agricultural Water Management
First page 606
Last page 618
Country United States
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