Get access

MODIS-Aided Statewide Net Groundwater-Recharge Estimation in Nebraska

Authors

  • Jozsef Szilagyi,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 3310 Holdrege Street HH625, Lincoln, NE 68583.
      Corresponding author: Department of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Muegyetem Rakpart 3-9, H-1111 Budapest, Hungary; (36)-1-463-1885; fax: (36)-1-463-1879; jszilagyi1@unl.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Janos Jozsa

    1. Department of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Muegyetem Rakpart 3-9, H-1111 Budapest, Hungary.
    Search for more papers by this author

Corresponding author: Department of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Muegyetem Rakpart 3-9, H-1111 Budapest, Hungary; (36)-1-463-1885; fax: (36)-1-463-1879; jszilagyi1@unl.edu

Abstract

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.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary