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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-376
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-376
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 08 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 08 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

BESS-STAIR: a framework to estimate daily, 30-meter, and allweather crop evapotranspiration using multi-source satellite data for the U.S. Corn Belt

Chongya Jiang1,2, Kaiyu Guan1,2,3, Ming Pan4, Youngryel Ryu5, Bin Peng1,3, and Sibo Wang3 Chongya Jiang et al.
  • 1College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
  • 2Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
  • 3National Center of Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
  • 4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA
  • 5Department of Landscape Architecture and Rural Systems Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Abstract. With increasing crop water demands and drought threats, mapping and monitoring of cropland evapotranspiration (ET) at high spatial and temporal resolutions becomes increasingly critical for water management and sustainability. However, estimating ET from satellite for precise water resources management is still challenging due to the limitations in both existing ET models and satellite input data. Specifically, the process of ET is complex and difficult to model, and existing satellite remote sensing data could not fulfill high resolutions in both space and time. To address the above two issues, this study presented a new high spatiotemporal resolution ET mapping framework, i.e., BESS-STAIR, which integrates a satellite-driven water-carbon-energy coupled biophysical model BESS (Breathing Earth System Simulator) with a generic and fully-automated fusion algorithm STAIR (SaTallite dAta IntegRation). In this framework, STAIR provides daily 30-meter multispectral surface reflectance by fusing Landsat and MODIS satellite data to derive fine-resolution leaf area index and visible/near-infrared albedo, all of which, along with coarse-resolution meteorological and CO2 data, are used to drive BESS to estimate gap-free 30-m resolution daily ET. We applied BESS-STAIR from 2000 through 2017 in six areas across the U.S. Corn Belt, and validated BESS-STAIR ET estimations using flux tower measurements over 12 sites (85 site-years). Results showed that BESS-STAIR daily ET achieved an overall R2 = 0.75, with RMSE = 0.93 mm d−1 and relative error = 27.9 % when benchmarked with the flux measurements. In addition, BESS-STAIR ET estimations well captured the spatial patterns, seasonal cycles, and interannual dynamics in different sub-regions. The high performance of the BESS-STAIR framework is primarily resulted from: (1) the implementation of coupled constraints on water, carbon, and energy in BESS, (2) high-quality daily 30-m data from STAIR fusion algorithm, and (3) BESS’s applicability under all-sky conditions. BESS-STAIR is calibration-free and has great potentials to be a reliable tool for water resources management and precision agriculture applications for the U.S. Corn Belt, and even for worldwide given the global coverage of its input data.

Chongya Jiang et al.
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Short summary
Quantifying crop water use at each field every day is challenging because of the complexity of the evapotranspiration (ET) process and the unavailability of data at high spatiotemporal resolutions. We here fuse multi-satellite data and employ a sophisticated model to estimate ET at 30 m resolution and daily interval. With validation against 86 site-years ground-truth in the U.S. Corn Belt, we are confident that our ET estimation is accurate and thus a reliable tool for water resources management.
Quantifying crop water use at each field every day is challenging because of the complexity of...
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