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Large Area Surface Energy Balance Estimation Using Satellite Imagery

Agricultural Water

  1. Peyman Daneshkar Arasteh

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.aw159

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Arasteh, P. D. 2005. Large Area Surface Energy Balance Estimation Using Satellite Imagery. Water Encyclopedia. 3:560–565.

Author Information

  1. Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Research Institute (SCWMRI), Tehran, Iran

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


All climatic and hydrologic phenomena in the atmosphere and on the earth's surface are affected by the energy balance at the surface. The energy balance is one of the main subjects in climatology, hydrology, civil and traffic engineering, biology, and health.

Photosynthesis and other metabolic processes in green plants, evaporation from free water and soil surfaces, and atmospheric and oceanic circulation are functions of the surface energy balance.

Due to the nonuniform properties of the earth's surface (albedo, heat capacity, soil cover, etc.), the Earth's surface, phenomena must be monitored on continuous and simultaneous spatial scales. Satellite imagery provides a large view of the earth's surface. Such a spatially continuous, but time discrete, data acquisition system provides a suitable framework for distributed modeling, provided that the phenomenon to be modeled has spectral behavior.

For energy balance processing, visible (VIS), near infrared (NIR), and thermal infrared (TIR) channels are used. Some primary surface parameters such as surface albedo, surface temperature, air temperature, surface roughness, land cover, and land use may be provided by remote sensing.

In this article, inferring energy balance components using remotely sensed data and some common methods in this respect are introduced. Then, the energy components of the Hamoon Wetlands are described as a case study, and some Internet sources of the satellite-based global energy budget are introduced.


  • energy balance;
  • satellite imagery;
  • remote sensing;
  • regional model;
  • distributed model