Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2013, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (2): 359-369.doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-1015-9

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evapotranspiration estimation methods in hydrological models

ZHAO Lingling1,2, XIA Jun1,3, XU Chong-yu4, WANG Zhonggen1, SOBKOWIAK Leszek5, LONG Cangrui6   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle &|Related Land Surface Processes,Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research,CAS,Beijing 100101,China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049,China;
    3. State Key Lab.of Water Resources&Hydropower Engineering Science,Wuhan University,Wuhan 430072, China;
    4. Department of Geosciences,University of Oslo,Oslo,Norway;
    5. Department of Hydrology and Water Management,Institute of Physical Geography and Environmental Planning,Adam Mickiewicz University,Poznan,Poland;
    6. Puyang Water Conservancy Bureau,Puyang 457000,Henan,China
  • Received:2012-11-05 Revised:2012-12-10 Online:2013-02-20 Published:2013-02-20


Actual evapotranspiration is a key process of hydrological cycle and a sole term that links land surface water balance and land surface energy balance.Evapotranspiration plays a key role in simulating hydrological effect of climate change,and a review of evapotranspiration estimation methods in hydrological models is of vital importance.This paper firstly summarizes the evapotranspiration estimation methods applied in hydrological models and then classifies them into the integrated converting methods and the classification gathering methods by their mechanism.Integrated converting methods are usually used in hydrological models and two differences exist among them:one is in the potential evaporation estimation methods,while the other in the function for defining relationship between potential evaporation and actual evapotranspiration.Due to the higher information requirements of the Penman-Monteith method and the existing data uncertainty,simplified empirical methods for calculating potential and actual evapotranspiration are widely used in hydrological models. Different evapotranspiration calculation methods are used depending on the complexity of the hydrological model,and importance and difficulty in the selection of the most suitable evapotranspiration methods is discussed.Finally,this paper points out the prospective development trends of the evapotranspiration estimating methods in hydrological modeling.

Key words: hydrological model, actual evaporation, potential evaporation, function of soil moisture