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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 22, issue 8 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4535-4545, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-4535-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 28 Aug 2018

Research article | 28 Aug 2018

Exploring the relationships between warm-season precipitation, potential evaporation, and “apparent” potential evaporation at site scale

Xi Chen1 and Steven G. Buchberger2 Xi Chen and Steven G. Buchberger
  • 1College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, USA
  • 2College of Engineering and Applied Science, Department of Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, USA

Abstract. Bouchet's complementary relationship and the Budyko hypothesis are two classic frameworks that are inter-connected. To systematically investigate the connections between the two frameworks, we analyze precipitation, pan evaporation, and potential evaporation data at 259 weather stations across the United States. The precipitation and pan evaporation data are from field measurement and the potential evaporation data are collected from a remote-sensing dataset. We use pan evaporation to represent apparent potential evaporation, which is different from potential evaporation. With these data, we study the correlations between precipitation and potential evaporation, and between precipitation and apparent potential evaporation. The results show that 93% of the study's weather stations exhibit a negative correlation between precipitation and apparent potential evaporation. Also, the aggregated data cloud of precipitation vs. apparent potential evaporation with 5312 warm-season data points from 259 weather stations shows a negative trend in which apparent potential evaporation decreases with increasing precipitation. On the other hand, no significant correlation is found in the data cloud of precipitation vs. potential evaporation, indicating that precipitation and potential evaporation are independent. We combine a Budyko-type expression, the Turc–Pike equation, with Bouchet's complementary relationship to derive upper and lower Bouchet–Budyko curves, which display a complementary relationship between apparent potential evaporation and actual evaporation. The observed warm-season data follow the trend of the Bouchet–Budyko curves. Our study shows the consistency between Budyko's framework and Bouchet's complementary relationship, with the distinction between potential evaporation and apparent potential evaporation. The formulated complementary relationship can be used in quantitative modeling practices.

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Based on warm season data from 259 weather stations across the US, we analyze the correlation between precipitation, potential evaporation, and “apparent” potential evaporation (measured by pan evaporation). Over 93 % of the stations show negative correlation between precipitation and “apparent” potential evaporation, but no clear relationship is shown between precipitation and potential evaporation. The collected data points follow the trend of the newly derived Bouchet–Budyko curve.
Based on warm season data from 259 weather stations across the US, we analyze the correlation...
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