Evaluating the complimentary relationship of evapotranspiration in an arid shrublands

Zhongbo Yu, Shiqin Xu*, Xibin Ji, Edward A. Sudicky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Accurate estimates of evapotranspiration and its components are essential for quantifying the water and energy fluxes and water resources management in arid regions. To this end, daily actual evapotranspiration (ETa), pan evaporation, and concurrent microclimate from an arid shrublands were measured over two growing seasons (2014–2015) to determine water budgets and to test the validity of the complementary relationship (CR) at this temporal scale. The average ETa is 229.32 ± 45.86 mm during two growing seasons, while canopy transpiration, soil evaporation, and interception accounted for 68.1 ± 16.5%, 29.1 ± 2.5% and 2.8 ± 0.6%, respectively. Actual evapotranspiration and Penman potential evapotranspiration, or pan evaporation exhibit complementary behavior, where the complementary relationship is asymmetric. Daily ETa rates are significantly overestimated by the symmetric Advection-Aridity (AA) model. Employing the modified AA model, where parameters are calibrated locally and wet environment evapotranspiration is evaluated at wet environment air temperature as opposed to the measured air temperature, the prediction accuracy of ETa is dramatically improved. With calibrated parameters, the E601B sunken pan can satisfactorily describe the dynamics of daily ETa, while the D20 aboveground pan underestimates it to some extent. Moreover, the modified AA model is able to capture the dynamics of groundwater usage by vegetation during dry summer. These findings gain our new knowledge on the capability of CR theory to resolve special issue occurred in phreatophytic shrublands, and can also provide beneficial reference to water resource and eco-environment management in arid regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-394
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hydrology
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFC0402710, 2016YFC0402706) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41771041 , 41271036 , 41323001 , 51539003 , 41471016 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Advection-Aridity model
  • Arid climate
  • Evapotranspiration partition
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Phreatophytic shrub

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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