Reviewing SEBAL input parameters for assessing evapotranspiration and water productivity for the Low-Middle São Francisco River basin, Brazil: Part B: Application to the regional scale uri icon

abstract

  • The intensification of irrigated agriculture in the semi-arid region of Brazilian North-east results in a change of natural vegetation by irrigated fruit crops. New applications of remote sensing technologies are presented in this paper to estimate the impact of this land use change on regional water consumption - and ultimately the water balance - in Low-Middle Sao Francisco River basin. Ten Landsat images for a period from 2001 to 2007 were used, together with the locally calibrated Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL) and agro-meteorological data to derive information on regional actual evapotranspiration (ET), biomass production (BIO), and crop water productivity (CWP). The Landsat-based results revealed that regional mean ET for irrigated crops was 3.6 mm d(-1) being higher than for natural vegetation (1.4 mm d(-1)). Similar incremental ET values between natural and irrigated ecosystems were found from micro-meteorological field experiments. The consequence of this land use change on Sao Francisco River's downstream stream flow was assessed by estimating volumetric incremental evapotranspiration at the regional scale. The bio-physical crop water productivity per unit of actual evapotranspiration (CWPET) varied between 0.4 and 1.71 of wine per m(3) of water for wine grapes; 1.7 and 4.0 kg of fruits per m(3) of water for table grapes; and 2.2 and 5.0 kg of fruits per m(3) of water for mangos. The accompanying paper (Part A) describes the calibration and validation of SEBAL steps witnessed under the actual field conditions in this study area. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009