Performance assessment of the SEVIRI Evapotranspiration operational product: Results over diverse Mediterranean ecosystems

George Petropoulos, Gareth Ireland, Alexander Cass, R. K. Srivastava

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Abstract

Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important variable in weather system and hydrometeorological modelling, which is limited for ungauged catchments. In this study, an extensive validation was carried out on the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) Evapotranspiration operational product, evaluating its accuracy at selected European sites. Validation was performed through comparisons to in-situ eddy covariance measurements belonging to the CarboEurope IP network. Comparisons were performed for selected cloud-free days with satisfactory Energy Balance Ratio (EBR) in 2011. In total nine sites covering six land covers were used in validating the products’ ET retrieval accuracy. A series of statistical metrics were computed to evaluate the agreement, exploring also the variability of site characteristics and influence of land cover on ET performances. In overall, a good agreement was reported between the satellite-derived ET estimates and the ground measurements (d-index = 0.755, Root Mean Square Deviation (RMSD) = 0.107 mm h-1). A minor negative bias of -0.015 mm h-1 suggested only slight underestimation of the in-situ data. In terms of land cover, highest agreement in ET was reported for the “olive orchards and “open shrubland” sites (d-index = 0.893/0.867, RMSD = 0.041/0.050 mm/h-1). A systematic ET underestimation by SEVIRI was found for all land cover types. Results of this study are largely comparable to previous analogous validation studies of the product. Our findings support the potential value of the SEVIRI ET product for regional to mesoscale studies and practical applications. The latter is of particular importance for water limiting environments such as those found in the Mediterranean basin, as accurate information on ET rates can provide tremendous support in sustainable water resource management as well as policy and decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3412-3423
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Volume15
Issue number6
Early online date14 Jan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Keywords

  • evapotranspiration
  • Earth Observation
  • SEVIRI
  • validation
  • Europe

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