Riparian Plant Evapotranspiration and Consumptive Use for Selected Areas of the Little Colorado River Watershed on the Navajo Nation

Pamela L. Nagler, Armando Barreto-Muñoz, Ibrahima Sall, Matthew R. Lurtz, Kamel Didan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Estimates of riparian vegetation water use are important for hydromorphological assessment, partitioning within human and natural environments, and informing environmental policy decisions. The objectives of this study were to calculate the actual evapotranspiration (ETa) (mm/day and mm/year) and derive riparian vegetation annual consumptive use (CU) in acre-feet (AF) for select riparian areas of the Little Colorado River watershed within the Navajo Nation, in northeastern Arizona, USA. This was accomplished by first estimating the riparian land cover area for trees and shrubs using a 2019 summer scene from National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) (1 m resolution), and then fusing the riparian delineation with Landsat-8 OLI (30-m) to estimate ETa for 2014–2020. We used indirect remote sensing methods based on gridded weather data, Daymet (1 km) and PRISM (4 km), and Landsat measurements of vegetation activity using the two-band Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI2). Estimates of potential ET were calculated using Blaney-Criddle. Riparian ETa was quantified using the Nagler ET(EVI2) approach. Using both vector and raster estimates of tree, shrub, and total riparian area, we produced the first CU measurements for this region. Our best estimate of annual CU is 36,983 AF with a range between 31,648–41,585 AF and refines earlier projections of 25,387–46,397 AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Blaney-Criddle
  • Daymet
  • EVI2
  • PRISM
  • consumptive use
  • evapotranspiration
  • riparian ecosystem
  • water requirement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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