Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Jagath Kaluarachchi


Jagath Kaluarachchi


Mac McKee


A. Bruce Bishop


Ronald Sims


Mohammad Almasri


A reliable estimate of evapotranspiration (ET) in river basins is important for the purpose of water resources planning and management. ET represents a significant portion of rainfall in the water budget; therefore, the uncertainty in estimating ET can lead to the inaccurate prediction of water resources. While remote sensing techniques are available to estimate ET, such methods are expensive and necessary data may not be readily available. Classical methods of estimating ET require detailed land use/cover information that are not readily available in rural river basins. Complementary methods provide simple and reliable approaches to estimate ET using meteorological data only. However, these methods have not been investigated in detail to assess the overall applicability and the needs for revisions if any. In this work, an improved approach to use the complementary methods using readily available meteorological data is presented. The methodology is validated using 34 global FLUXNET sites with heterogeneous land use/cover, climatic, and physical conditions. The method was compared with classical methods using Ghana as a study area where original pioneering studies of ET have been performed. The work was extended to develop global maps of ET and water surplus (precipitation - ET) for the 20th century followed by climate change-induced 21st century estimates for 2040-2069 and 2070-2099 periods. The emission scenario used was the moderate A1B with the global climate models CGCM3.1 and HADGEM1. The results were assessed at different scales from global to regional such as for potential outcomes of climate change on ET and water surplus.




This work made publicly available electronically on July 29, 2012.