Evapotranspiration of sorghum from the energy balance by METRIC and STSEB

ABSTRACT The estimate of the actual surface evapotranspiration (ET) contributes to quantifying the water needs of crops. An alternative to the use of lysimeter for an accurate estimation of water needs, which has proved to be of great value in recent years, is the use of remote sensing combined with models based on surface energy balance. There is wide variety of models that can be classified into two types: one-source models, such as the Mapping EvapoTranspiration at high Resolution with Internalized Calibration (METRIC) algorithm, or two-source models, such as the Simplified Two-Source Energy Balance (STSEB). The objective of this study was to analyze how METRIC and STSEB can be used to estimate ET, in comparison with the lysimeter data, for the different stages of development of the sorghum crop in Apodi, RN, Brazil. The accuracy of both models in the daily ET estimation for the semi-arid conditions of the experiment, with RMSE values of 0.8 and of 0.7 mm d-1 through METRIC and STSEB, respectively, is considered acceptable for irrigation management purposes. The errors obtained with METRIC at an instantaneous scale were 60, 50, 130 and 5 W m-2 for Rn, LE, H and G, respectively, on the other hand, using STSEB these errors were of 40, 70, 120 and 21 W m-2 for Rn, LE, H and G, respectively. The METRIC and STSEB models are very similar when it comes to providing information on water needs of the sorghum.