Modeling Actual Evapotranspiration with MSI-Sentinel Images and Machine Learning Algorithms

Robson Argolo dos Santos, Everardo Chartuni Mantovani, Elpídio Inácio Fernandes-Filho, Roberto Filgueiras, Rodrigo Dal Sasso Lourenço, Vinícius Bof Bufon, Christopher M.U. Neale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The modernization of computational resources and application of artificial intelligence algorithms have led to advancements in studies regarding the evapotranspiration of crops by remote sensing. Therefore, this research proposed the application of machine learning algorithms to estimate the ETrF (Evapotranspiration Fraction) of sugar can crop using the METRIC (Mapping Evapotranspiration at High Resolution with Internalized Calibration) model with data from the Sentinel-2 satellites constellation. In order to achieve this goal, images from the MSI sensor (MultiSpectral Instrument) from the Sentinel-2 and the OLI (Operational Land Imager) and TIRS (Thermal Infrared Sensor) sensors from the Landsat-8 were acquired nearly at the same time between the years 2018 and 2020 for sugar cane crops. Images from OLI and TIR sensors were intended to calculate ETrF through METRIC (target variable), while for the MSI sensor images, the explanatory variables were extracted in two approaches, using 10 m (approach 1) and 20 m (approach 2) spatial resolution. The results showed that the algorithms were able to identify patterns in the MSI sensor data to predict the ETrF of the METRIC model. For approach 1, the best predictions were XgbLinear (R2 = 0.80; RMSE = 0.15) and XgbTree (R2 = 0.80; RMSE = 0.15). For approach 2, the algorithm that demonstrated superiority was the XgbLinear (R2 = 0.91; RMSE = 0.10), respectively. Thus, it became evident that machine learning algorithms, when applied to the MSI sensor, were able to estimate the ETrF in a simpler way than the one that involves energy balance with the thermal band used in the METRIC model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1518
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • irrigation scheduling
  • remote sensing
  • sugarcane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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