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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Jan 2019

Research article | 21 Jan 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

A global Budyko model to partition evaporation into interception and transpiration

Ameneh Mianabadi1,2, Miriam Coenders-Gerrits2, Pooya Shirazi1, Bijan Ghahraman1, and Amin Alizadeh1 Ameneh Mianabadi et al.
  • 1Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
  • 2Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands

Abstract. Evaporation is a very important flux in the hydrological cycle and links the water and energy balance of a catchment. The Budyko framework is often used to provide a first order estimate of evaporation, since it is a simple model where only rainfall and potential evaporation is required as input. Many researchers have tried to improve the Budyko framework by including more physics and catchment characteristics into the original equation. However, this often resulted in additional parameters, which are unknown or difficult to determine. In this paper we present an improvement of the previously presented Gerrits' model (Analytical derivation of the Budyko curve based on rainfall characteristics and a simple evaporation model in Gerrits et al., 2009 WRR), whereby total evaporation is calculated on the basis of simple interception and transpiration thresholds in combination with measurable parameters like rainfall dynamics and storage availability from remotely sensed data sources. While Gerrits' model was investigated for 10 catchments with different climate conditions and some parameters were assumed to be constant, in this study we applied the model on the global scale and fed with remotely sensed input data. The output of the model has been compared to two complex land–surface models STEAM and GLEAM, as well as the database of Landflux-EVAL. Our results show that total evaporation estimated by Gerrits' model is in good agreement with Landflux-EVAL, STEAM and GLEAM. Results also show that Gerrits' model underestimates interception in comparison to STEAM and overestimates it in comparison to GLEAM, while for transpiration the opposite is found. Errors in interception can partly be explained by differences in the interception definition that successively introduce errors in the calculation of transpiration. Comparing to the Budyko framework, the model showed a good performance for total evaporation estimation.

Ameneh Mianabadi et al.
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Ameneh Mianabadi et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Evaporation is the biggest water consumer of the rainfall that falls on the land. Knowing its magnitude will help water resources to develop water use strategies. This study describes a model that can estimate the magnitude of evaporation on a global level. It does not use local information, only information from rainfall and vegetation patterns derived from satellites.
Evaporation is the biggest water consumer of the rainfall that falls on the land. Knowing its...