Comparing Bowen Ratio-Energy Balance Systems for Measuring ET

by J. Ross Wight,
Clayton L. Hanson,
James L. Wright,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Integrated Perspectives

Abstract: Two Bowen ratio-energy balance (BREB) systems for measuring evapotranspiration (ET) under wet and dry conditions were compared. The study sites were an irrigated grass sod near Kimberly, Idaho and a sagebrushgrass range site on the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed near Boise, Idaho. One Bowen ratio system used positive-head, ceramic-wick, aspirated psychrometers. The other system measure the vapor gradients with a cooled-mirror, dew-point hygrometer. Differences in the amounts of ET measured by the two systems were very small and of little practical consequence. The system using a single-mirror, dew-point hygrometer was the most reliable, required the least maintenance, and was the easiest to use.

Subject Headings: Evapotranspiration | System reliability | Ceramics | Watersheds | Vegetation | Irrigation systems | Rivers and streams | Idaho | North America | United States | Boise

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