Using a basin-scale hydrological model to estimate crop transpiration and soil evaporation
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Increasing populations and expectations, declining crop yields and the resulting increased competition for water necesitate improvements in irrigation management and productivity. A key factor in defining agricultural productivity is to be able to simulate soil evaporation and crop transpiration. In agribusiness terms, crop transpiration is a useful process while soil and open-water evaporations are wasteful processes. In this study a distributed hydrological model was used to compute daily evaporation and transpiration for a variety of crops and other land covers within the 17,200 km(2) Gediz Basin in western Turkey. The model, SLURP, describes the complete hydrological cycle for each land cover within a series of sub-basins including all dams, reservoirs, regulators and irrigation schemes in the basin. The sub-basins and land covers are defined by analysing a digital elevation model and NOAA AVHRR satellite data. In this study, the model uses the FAO implementation of the Penman-Monteith equation to simulate soil evaporation and crop transpiration. The results of the model runs provide time series of data on streamflow at many points along the river system, abstractions and return flows from crops within the irrigation schemes and areally distributed soil evaporation and crop transpiration across the entire basin on each day of an 11 year period. The results show that evaporation and transpiration vary widely across the basin on any one day and over the irrigation season and can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the various irrigation strategies used in the basin. The advantages of using such a model as compared to deriving evapotranspiration from satellite data are that the model obtains results for each day of an indefinitely long period, as opposed to occasional snapshots, and can also be used to simulate alternate scenarios. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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