Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2021, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (1): 53-61.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2021.20072

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The evapotranspiration and environmental controls of typical underlying surfaces on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

JinLei Chen1,Jun Wen2,4(),ShiChang Kang1,3,XianHong Meng2,XianYu Yang4   

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
    2.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Processes and Climate Change, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
    3.CAS Centre for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    4.College of Atmospheric Sciences, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu, Sichuan 610225, China
  • Received:2020-07-22 Accepted:2020-10-09 Online:2021-02-28 Published:2021-02-07
  • Contact: Jun Wen
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(42005075);the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (STEP)(2019QZKK0605);the State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science(SKLCS-ZZ-2020);Foundation for Excellent Youth Scholars of "Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources", CAS(FEYS2019020)


To reveal the characteristics of evapotranspiration and environmental control factors of typical underlying surfaces (alpine wetland and alpine meadow) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, a comprehensive study was performed via in situ observations and remote sensing data in the growing season and non-growing season. Evapotranspiration was positively correlated with precipitation, the decoupling coefficient, and the enhanced vegetation index, but was energy-limited and mainly controlled by the vapor pressure deficit and solar radiation at an annual scale and growing season scale, respectively. Compared with the non-growing season, monthly evapotranspiration, equilibrium evaporation, and decoupling coefficient were greater in the growing season due to lower vegetation resistance and considerable precipitation. However, these factors were restricted in the alpine meadow. The decoupling factor was more sensitive to changes of conductance in the alpine wetland. This study is of great significance for understanding hydro-meteorological processes on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

Key words: evapotranspiration, control factor, typical underlying surfaces, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Figure 1

The geographic location of the observation sites"

Table 1

Statistics of energy budgets and hydro-meteorological factors of AM and AW in the growing season and non-growing season"

Growing seasonNon-growing seasonAnnual averageGrowing seasonNon-growing seasonAnnual average
Rs (W/(m2?d))17,222.5015,379.3216,222.3811,762.878,402.689,810.07
LE (W/(m2?d))4,256.951,279.472,641.343,993.851,539.092,567.25
H (W/(m2?d))2,052.563,135.592,640.221,080.5951,141.231,116.42
P (kPa)67.3167.0267.1567.2866.9567.09
T (K)284.57273.62278.63283.14271.04276.11
rh0 (%)68.5746.8156.7674.7262.4667.59
Prec (mm/d)2.730.401.376.121.523.45
ET (mm/d)2.260.541.262.781.081.79
SM (m3/m3)
Eeq (mm/d)
Eim (mm/d)3.750.942.225.371.913.36
VPD (kPa)0.500.400.450.370.230.29
rc (s/m)124.40540.75420.8799.06260.99228.17
ra (s/m)65.9865.3865.5647.8063.6460.43

Figure 2

The variation of hydrological factors coupled to evapotranspiration"

Figure 3

Variations in monthly average midday (a) aerodynamic resistance (ra), (b) vegetation resistance (rc), (c) Priestley-Taylor coefficient (α), and Bowen ratio (β)"

Figure 4

Frequency distribution of Ω and corresponding ET at midday"

Figure 5

Variations of Ω versus aerodynamic conductance (ga) and vegetation conductance (gc) in AM and AW, respectively"

Figure 6

Relationships between EVI and ET in the growing season"

Figure 7

Relationships between vegetation conductance and (a and c) LAI and (b and d) VPD in the growing season and non-growing season"

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