MODIS-Aided Statewide Net Groundwater-Recharge Estimation in Nebraska
Article first published online: 5 DEC 2012
© 2012, The Author(s). Groundwater © 2012, National Ground Water Association
Volume 51, Issue 5, pages 735–744, September/October 2013
How to Cite
Szilagyi, J. and Jozsa, J. (2013), MODIS-Aided Statewide Net Groundwater-Recharge Estimation in Nebraska. Groundwater, 51: 735–744. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2012.01019.x
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 5 DEC 2012
- Received June 2012, accepted October 2012.
Monthly evapotranspiration (ET) rates (2000 to 2009) across Nebraska at about 1-km resolution were obtained by linear transformations of the MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) daytime surface temperature values with the help of the Priestley–Taylor equation and the complementary relationship of evaporation. For positive values of the mean annual precipitation and ET differences, the mean annual net recharge was found by an additional multiplication of the power-function-transformed groundwater vulnerability DRASTIC-code values. Statewide mean annual net recharge became about 29 mm (i.e., 5% of mean annual precipitation) with the largest recharge rates (in excess of 100 mm/year) found in the eastern Sand Hills and eastern Nebraska. Areas with the largest negative net recharge rates caused by declining groundwater levels due to large-scale irrigation are found in the south-western region of the state. Error bounds of the estimated values are within 10% to 15% of the corresponding precipitation rates and the estimated net recharge rates are sensitive to errors in the precipitation and ET values. This study largely confirms earlier base-flow analysis-based statewide groundwater recharge estimates when considerations are made for differences in the recharge definitions. The current approach not only provides better spatial resolution than available earlier studies for the region but also quantifies negative net recharge rates that become especially important in numerical modeling of shallow groundwater systems.