Evapotranspiration mapping of commercial corn fields in Brazil using SAFER algorithm
Keywords:Landsat, water consumption, maize, remote sensing
SAFER (Simple Algorithm for Evapotranspiration Retrieving) is a relatively new algorithm applied successfully to estimate actual crop evapotranspiration (ET) at different spatial scales of different crops in Brazil. However, its use for monitoring irrigated crops is scarce and needs further investigation. This study assessed the performance of SAFER to estimate ET of irrigated corn in a Brazilian semiarid region. The study was conducted in São Desidério, Bahia State, Brazil, in corn-cropped areas in no-tillage systems and irrigated by central pivots. SAFER algorithm with original regression coefficients (a = 1.8 and b = –0.008) was initially tested during the growing seasons of 2014, 2015, and 2016. SAFER performed very poorly for estimating corn ET, with RMSD values greater than 1.18 mm d–1 for 12 fields analyzed and NSE values < 0 in most fields. To improve estimates, SAFER regression coefficients were calibrated (using 2014 and 2015 data) and validated with 2016 data, with the resulting coefficients a and b equal to 0.32 and –0.0013, respectively. SAFER performed well for ET estimation after calibration, with r2 and NSE values equal to 0.91 and RMSD = 0.469 mm d–1. SAFER also showed good performance (r2 = 0.86) after validation, with the lowest RMSD (0.58 mm d–1) values for the set of 14 center pivots in this growing season. The results support the use of calibrated SAFER algorithm as a tool for estimating water consumption in irrigated corn fields in semiarid conditions.
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