Evaluation of using remote sensing evapotranspiration data in SWAT

  • Authors: Parajuli, Prem B.; Jayakody, Priyantha; Ouyang, Ying
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Water Resources Management
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11269-017-1850-z


This study applied a time series evapotranspiration (ET) data derived from the remote sensing to evaluate Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model calibration, which is a unique method. The SWAT hydrologic model utilized monthly stream flow data from two US Geological Survey (USGS) stations within the Big Sunflower RiverWatershed (BSRW) in Northwestern, Mississippi. Surface energy balance algorithm for land (SEBAL), which utilized MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) to generate monthly ET time series data images were evaluated with the SWAT model. The SWAT hydrological model was calibrated and validated using monthly stream flow data with the default, flow only, ET only, and flow-ET modeling scenarios. The flow only and ETonly modeling scenarios showed equally good model performances with the coefficient of determination (R2) and Nash Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) from 0.71 to 0.86 followed by flow-ET only scenario with the R2 and NSE from 0.66 to 0.83, and default scenario with R2 and NSE from 0.39 to 0.78 during model calibration and validation at Merigold and Sunflower gage stations within the watershed. The SWAT model over-predicted ET when compared with the Modis-based ET. The ETbased ET had the closest ET prediction (~8% over-prediction) as followed by flow-ET-based ET (~16%), default-based ET (~27%) and flow-based ET (~47%). The ET-based modeling scenario demonstrated consistently good model performance on streamflow and ET simulation in this study. The results of this study demonstrated use of Modis-based remote sensing data to evaluate the SWAT model streamflow and ET calibration and validation, which can be applied in watersheds with the lack of meteorological data.

  • Citation: Parajuli, Prem B.; Jayakody, Priyantha; Ouyang, Ying. 2018. Evaluation of using remote sensing evapotranspiration data in SWAT. Water Resources Management. 32(3): 985-996.  12 p.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-017-1850-z.
  • Keywords: Evapotranspiration . Stream flow.MODIS .SWAT. Remote sensing
  • Posted Date: June 14, 2018
  • Modified Date: August 21, 2018
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