SSEBelvi (SSEB with both elevation and NDVI correction)

Simplified Surface Energy Balance model with both elevation and NDVI correction




Initial contribute: 2019-12-29


SAIC/US Geological Survey EROS/Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence, South, Dakota State University, USA
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Application-focused categoriesNatural-perspectiveLand regions

Detailed Description

English {{currentDetailLanguage}} English

Quoted from: A Review of Surface Energy Balance Models for Estimating Actual Evapotranspiration with Remote Sensing at High Spatiotemporal Resolution over Large Extents, Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5087, U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey. 

      A major assumption of SSEB is that differences in LST over a homogeneous landscape are related to differences in vegetation and its water use (Senay and others, 2007). Because this assumption ignores α and G, ETa is underestimated for surfaces with low albedo (light reflectance) and overestimated for surfaces with high albedo and high ground heat flux, such as bare soils (Senay and others, 2011a). In addition, SSEB assumes that LST and ETa are linearly related, but this assumption is questionable if α and G of a pixel on the landscape differ greatly from that of the reference crop (Senay and others, 2011a). To better support these assumptions, Senay and others (2011a) developed an adaptation of SSEB (SSEBelvi) with a correction for elevation with a DEM and another correction for land cover with a vegetation index. These modifications were developed to improve SSEB in applications on landscapes with varied elevation, slope, or aspect, and with mixed bare soil and green or senesced vegetation.

      To improve SSEB for applications not just on flat, irrigated fields but also on more complicated terrain, LST is corrected for topographic differences:



      LSTc is LST corrected for elevation, in kelvins;

      LST is uncorrected LST, in kelvins;

      KL is lapse rate in temperature of air moving over the landscape, in kelvins per meter; and

      DEM is land surface elevation from a digital elevation model, in meters.

      The standard value for the lapse rate is 0.0065 kelvins per meter. When using SSEBelvi, LSTc is substituted for LST to calculate ETf in equation 14.

      To improve the application of SSEB for mixed land cover, NDVI is used to correct for vegetation differences: 



      ETf(elvi) is ETf corrected for elevation and vegetation index (dimensionless);

      NDVI is normalized difference vegetation index (dimensionless); and

      ETf(el) is ETf from equation 14 corrected for land surface elevation (dimensionless).

      With SSEBelvi, it is assumed that if the NDVI value of a pixel is greater than 0.7, that pixel is well-vegetated and will have ETa greater than that of the reference crop if water is not limiting (Senay and others, 2011a). The possible range of the coefficient in equation 17 (the resulting value of all terms within the parentheses) is 0.65–1.15, but the probable maximum is 1.05 because NDVI is rarely greater than 0.8 for a pixel. Senay and others (2011a) state that this range has no strong theoretical basis, but that the probable maximum is equivalent to the correction factor used by METRIC (1.05) for calculating ETf of the cold reference pixel. When using SSEBelvi, ETf(elvi) is substituted for ETf to calculate ETa in equation 15.



Gabriel B. Senay and others (2019). SSEBelvi (SSEB with both elevation and NDVI correction), Model Item, OpenGMS,


Initial contribute : 2019-12-29



SAIC/US Geological Survey EROS/Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence, South, Dakota State University, USA
Is authorship not correct? Feed back

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