Spatial and temporal variation in evapotranspiration using Raman lidar

William E. Eichinger, D. I. Cooper, L. E. Hipps, W. P. Kustas, C. M.U. Neale, J. H. Prueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Los Alamos Raman lidar has been used to make high resolution (25 m) estimates of the evapotranspiration rate over adjacent corn and soybean canopies. The lidar makes three-dimensional measurements of the water vapor content of the atmosphere directly above the canopy that are inverted using Monin-Obukhov similarity theory. This may be used to examine the relationship between evapotranspiration and surface moisture/soil type. Lidar estimates of evapotranspiration reveal a high degree of spatial variability over corn and soybean fields that may be associated with small elevation changes in the area. The spatial structure of the variability is characterized using a structure function and correlation function approach. The power law relationship found by other investigators for soil moisture is not clear in the data for evapotranspiration, nor is the data a straight line over the measured lags. The magnitude of the structure function and the slope changes with time of day, with a probable connection to the amount of evapotranspiration and the spatial variability of the water vapor source. The data used was taken during the soil moisture-atmosphere coupling experiment (SMACEX) conducted in the Walnut Creek Watershed near Ames, Iowa in June and July 2002.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-381
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Evapotranspiration
  • Lidar
  • Remote sensing
  • Soil moisture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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