Evaluating European ECOSTRESS Hub Evapotranspiration Products Across a Range of Soil-Atmospheric Aridity and Biomes Over Europe


Hu T., Mallick K., Hitzelberger P., Didry Y., Boulet G., Szantoi Z., Koetz B., Alonso I., Pascolini-Campbell M., Halverson G., Cawse-Nicholson K., Hulley G.C., Hook S., Bhattarai N., Olioso A., Roujean J.L., Gamet P., Su B.


Water Resources Research, vol. 59, n° 8, art. no. e2022WR034132, 2023


The ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) is a scientific mission that collects high spatio-temporal resolution (∼70 m, 1–5 days average revisit time) thermal images since its launch on 29 June 2018. As a predecessor of future missions, one of the main objectives of ECOSTRESS is to retrieve and understand the spatio-temporal variations in terrestrial evapotranspiration (ET) and its responses to soil water availability and atmospheric aridity. In the European ECOSTRESS Hub (EEH), by taking advantage of land surface temperature (LST) retrievals, we generated ECOSTRESS ET products over Europe and Africa using three models with different structures and parameterization schemes, namely Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) and Two Source Energy Balance (TSEB) parametric models, as well as the non-parametric Surface Temperature Initiated Closure (STIC) model. A comprehensive evaluation of the EEH ET products was conducted with respect to flux measurements from 19 eddy covariance sites in Europe over six different biomes with diverse aridity levels. Results revealed comparable performances of STIC and SEBS (RMSE of ∼70 W m−2). However, the relatively complex TSEB model produced a higher RMSE of ∼90 W m−2. Comparison between STIC ET estimates and the operational ECOSTRESS ET product from NASA PT-JPL model showed a larger RMSE (around 50 W m−2 higher) for the PT-JPL ET estimates. Substantial overestimation (>80 W m−2) in PT-JPL ET estimates was evident over shrublands and savannas, presumably due to weak constraint of LST in the model. Overall, the EEH supports ET retrieval for the future high-resolution thermal missions.



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