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Evaluation of single crop coefficient curves derived from Landsat satellite images for major crops in Iran

Mokhtari, Ali, Noory, Hamideh, Vazifedoust, Majid, Palouj, Mojtaba, Bakhtiari, Atousa, Barikani, Elham, Zabihi Afrooz, Ramezan Ali, Fereydooni, Fatemeh, Sadeghi Naeni, Ali, Pourshakouri, Farrokh, Badiehneshin, Alireza, Afrasiabian, Yasamin
Agricultural water management 2019 v.218 pp. 234-249
Landsat, air temperature, algorithms, annuals, barley, climatic factors, climatic zones, cold, corn, crop coefficient, crops, equations, evapotranspiration, forage, groundwater, growing season, leaf area index, moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer, relative humidity, remote sensing, shortwave radiation, sugar beet, water requirement, wheat, wind, Iran
Improving the accuracy of single crop coefficient (Kc) for major crops at regional scales would significantly result in optimizing the consumption of agriculture water. In this study, a new approach is applied to generate Kc curves from satellite images based on the Priestley-Taylor equation. The equation mainly consists of shortwave radiation and thermal terms. Therefore in order to meet the equation’s requirements, the Landsat optical data was considered as the essential satellite-based input of the approach, yet thermal data was obtained from the MODIS imagery which was primarily downscaled using the TsHARP algorithm to fit the 30 m spatial resolution of Landsat; therefore, in this study the method is referred to as the MultiSensor Data Fusion for potential EvapoTranspiration calculation (MSDF-ET). The Kc trends were first evaluated for annual crops (forage maize, sugar beet, wheat, and barley) in two different regions (the Qazvin and Tehran-Karaj plains) using field observation data of Leaf Area Index (LAI). The method was then applied to the major crops in 31 selected plains with three different climatic conditions in Iran. Climatic conditions were categorized into cold (North West region), arid (Central region), and warm and humid (South West region). Eventually, crop water requirements (CWR) in different regions were compared considering long-term air temperature, wind, and relative humidity (RH) variations. Evaluation of the method in the Qazvin and Tehran-Karaj plains showed promising results. The Kc trend varied according to the LAI and temperature variability. Crop growth duration and especially Kc curves were successfully extracted using remotely sensed data in the studied areas. CWR in the zone with higher values of air temperature, notably in warm seasons, was higher in comparison with other climatic zones. Also lengths of the growing seasons were shorter. In conclusion, surface and groundwater resources management would be improved as the result of taking satellite data into account for Kc and subsequently CWR calculations.