An assessment of actual evapotranspiration and soil moisture functions based on local-scale data in Alabama
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Walter L. Ellenburg
Evapotranspiration--Alabama--Measurement, Soil moisture--Alabama--Measurement
Large-scale models and remote technology are widely used for the estimation of the energy budget at a global scale. The interaction of energy fluxes and soil water at the vegetation root zone is the driving force that controls the evapotranspiration process. Although the importance of soil moisture, it can only be measured at a point scale, given the great heterogeneity of soil profile. Large-scale models struggle to capture the spatial heterogeneity of soils, and remote sensing can only observe the surface level soil moisture, omitting the root zone. Studies have shown evapotranspiration estimates (specifically from Remote Sensing) and can provide needed information for characterizing root zone soil moisture, but these studies are mixed, and few have looked at the Southeast United States. To better understand the relationship between soil moisture and evapotranspiration in the humid Southeast environment this study looked at in situ soil moisture and derived soil water balance model evapotranspiration estimates. Findings for this specific region show that, at the transition between evapotranspiration regimes, the critical soil moisture at the root level is lower than soil moisture at the surface level (less than 6 cm depth), particularly in areas with medium to fine soil texture.
Lugo Kuzy, Lisa, "An assessment of actual evapotranspiration and soil moisture functions based on local-scale data in Alabama" (2023). Dissertations. 280.
Submitted ... in the joint Civil Engineering Program (University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Alabama in Huntsville)