Groundwater evapotranspiration under psammophilous vegetation covers in the Mu Us Sandy Land, northern China

Donghui Cheng, Jibo Duan, Kang Qian, Lijun Qi, Hongbin Yang, Xunhong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Groundwater is a significant component of the hydrological cycle in arid and semi-arid areas. Its evapotranspiration is an important part of the water budget because many plants are groundwater-dependent. To restore the degraded ecosystems, the need is pressing to further our understanding of the groundwater evapotranspiration (ETg) in arid and semi-arid areas. This study employed the White method to estimate ETg at four sites in the Mu Us Sandy Land in northern China, and the four sites are covered by Salix psammophila (SP site), Artemisia ordosica (AO site), Poplar alba (PA site), and Carex enervis (CE site), respectively. The depth of groundwater table and the duration of drainage were taken into account in calculating the specific yield (Sy) to improve the accuracy of the ETg estimats. Our results showed that from late May to early November 2013 the ETg were 361.87 (SP site), 372.53 (AO site), 597.86 (PA site) and 700.76 mm (CE site), respectively. The estimated ETg rate was also species-dependent and the descending order of the ETg rate for the four vegetation was: C. enervis, P. alba, A. ordosica, and S. psammophila. In addition, the depth of groundwater table has an obvious effect on the ETg rate and the effect varied with the vegetation types. Furthermore, the evapotranspiration for the vegetation solely relying on the water supply from unsaturated layers above the groundwater table was much less than that for the vegetation heavily relying on the water supply from shallow aquifers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-108
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Arid Land
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Mu Us Sandy Land
  • White method
  • groundwater evapotranspiration
  • psammophilous vegetation
  • specific yield

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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