Spatialization of sensible heat flux over a heterogeneous landscape

Jean Pierre Lagouarde*, Frédéric Jacob, Xing Fa Gu, Albert Olioso, Jean Marc Bonnefond, Yann Kerr, K. John McAneney, Mark Irvine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Two methods for retrieving sensible heat flux over a bare soil/wheat composite surface are compared. The first one is based on field measurements using large aperture scintillometers. The comparison with reference fluxes obtained from eddy correlation technique shows that scintillometry-derived fluxes are overestimated by 10%. A numerical experiment demonstrates this is induced by the non-uniform sensitivity of the scintillometer to CN2 along the path length which follows a 'bell-shaped' curve. The second method is based on the use of a simple surface energy balance model, SEBAL, supplied with high spatial resolution remote sensing data from two airborne sensors in visible, near infrared and TIR bands. A comparison with scintillometry-derived fluxes shows important discrepancies. These result from large errors in the estimation of the roughness length z0 in the model. This demonstrates that the use of an empirical relationship based on NDVI only is inadequate for inferring this key parameter in SEBAL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-633
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2002 EDP Sciences. Originally published in Agronomie, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp. 627-633, The original publication is available at


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