Calibration of METRIC model to estimate energy balance over a drip-irrigated apple orchard

Daniel de la Fuente-Sáiz, Samuel Ortega-Farías, David Fonseca, Samuel Ortega-Salazar, Ayse Kilic, Richard Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A field experiment was carried out to calibrate and evaluate the METRIC (Mapping EvapoTranspiration at high Resolution Internalized with Calibration) model for estimating the spatial and temporal variability of instantaneous net radiation (Rni), soil heat flux (Gi), sensible heat flux (Hi), and latent heat flux (LEi) over a drip-irrigated apple (Malus domestica cv. Pink Lady) orchard located in the Pelarco valley, Maule Region, Chile (35°25'20"LS; 71°23'57"LW; 189 m.a.s.l.). The study was conducted in a plot of 5.5 hectares using 20 satellite images (Landsat 7 ETM+) acquired on clear sky days during three growing seasons (2012/2013, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015). Specific sub-models to estimate Gi, leaf area index (LAI) and aerodynamic roughness length for momentum transfer (Zom) were calibrated for the apple orchard as an improvement to the standard METRIC model. The performance of the METRIC model was evaluated at the time of satellite overpass using measurements of Hi and LEi obtained from an eddy correlation system. In addition, estimated values of Rni, Gi and LAI were compared with ground-truth measurements from a four-way net radiometer, soil heat flux plates and plant canopy analyzer, respectively. Validation indicated that LAI, Zom and Gi were estimated using the calibrated functions with errors of +2%, +6% and +3% while those were computed using the standard functions with error of +59%, +83%, and +12%, respectively. In addition, METRIC using the calibrated functions estimated Hi and LEi with error of +5% and +16%, while using the original functions estimated Hi and LEi with error of +29% and +26%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number670
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Fruit orchards
  • Leaf area index
  • Momentum roughness length
  • Perrier function
  • Satellite images

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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