A Bayesian approach to estimate sensible and latent heat over vegetated land surface
1ITC International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation Hengelosestraat 99, P. O. Box 6, 7500 AA Enschede, The Netherlands
2Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mekelweg 4, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
3The University of Reading, Department of Soil Science, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, Reading RG6 6DW, UK
Abstract. Sensible and latent heat fluxes are often calculated from bulk transfer equations combined with the energy balance. For spatial estimates of these fluxes, a combination of remotely sensed and standard meteorological data from weather stations is used. The success of this approach depends on the accuracy of the input data and on the accuracy of two variables in particular: aerodynamic and surface conductance. This paper presents a Bayesian approach to improve estimates of sensible and latent heat fluxes by using a priori estimates of aerodynamic and surface conductance alongside remote measurements of surface temperature. The method is validated for time series of half-hourly measurements in a fully grown maize field, a vineyard and a forest. It is shown that the Bayesian approach yields more accurate estimates of sensible and latent heat flux than traditional methods.