Satellite-Derived Spatiotemporal Variations in Evapotranspiration over Northeast China during 1982–2010

Lilin Zhang, Yunjun Yao*, Zhiqiang Wang, Kun Jia, Xiaotong Zhang, Yuhu Zhang, Xuanyu Wang, Jia Xu, Xiaowei Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Evapotranspiration (ET) is a critical process for the climate system and water cycles. However, the spatiotemporal variations in terrestrial ET over Northeast China over the past three decades calculated from sparse meteorological point-based data remain large uncertain. In this paper, a recently proposed modified satellite-based Priestley–Taylor (MS–PT) algorithm was applied to estimate ET of Northeast China during 1982–2010. Validation results show that the square of the correlation coefficients (R2) for the six flux tower sites varies from 0.55 to 0.88 (p < 0.01), and the mean root mean square error (RMSE) is 0.92 mm/d. The ET estimated by MS–PT has an annual mean of 441.14 18 mm/year in Northeast China, with a decreasing trend from southeast coast to northwest inland. The ET also shows in both annual and seasonal linear trends over Northeast China during 1982–2010, although this trend seems to have ceased after 1998, which increased on average by 12.3 mm per decade pre-1998 (p < 0.1) and decreased with large interannual fluctuations post-1998. Importantly, our analysis on ET trends highlights a large difference from previous studiesthat the change of potential evapotranspiration (PET) plays a key role for the change of ET over Northeast China. Only in the western part of Northeast China does precipitation appear to be a major controlling influence on ET.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1140
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalRemote sensing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • evapotranspiration
  • Northeast China
  • MS–PT algorithm
  • spatial-temporal variations
  • controlling factors
  • potential evapotranspiration


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