Nevada Water Science Center

Evapotranspiration Studies in Nevada

Contact Information

Mike Moreo
Phone: (702) 564-4625


Mailing Address
Nevada Water Science Center
160 N. Stephanie St.
Henderson, NV 89074


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Salt Playa

Site identification: 361340116470703

Study contact: Guy DeMeo

ET Data

Annual ET reported (in inches): 2.04

Study period: 6/10/98 - 7/26/01

Days recorded: 1142 from 6/10/98 to 7/26/01


Measurement method: Bowen ratio

Data: Download from NWISWeb

Graph of ET data

Location information

in decimal degrees
in decimal degrees
36.227778 -116.785278 -270


Photo of ET site


Photo of ET site

ET Source Area

Salt-encrusted playa


Study Information

Satellite-imagery data and results from the National Wetlands Inventory were used to identify areas with significant rates of ET on the valley floor and to delineate these areas into zones of similar vegetation and soil characteristics (known as ET units). Five unique ET units were identified: salt-encrusted playa (21,287 acres), bare-soil playa (75,922 acres), low-density vegetation (6,525 acres), moderate-density vegetation (5,019 acres), and high-density vegetation (1,522 acres). A sixth ET unit, open water, had been considered for the final results, however, with a total area of only 2 acres annual ET is estimated to be only 17 acre-ft. This estimate is less than two thousandths of the total ground-water discharge for the entire study area and is not included within the final result.

Representative ET rates for salt-encrusted playa, bare-soil playa, low-density vegetation, moderate-density vegetation, and high-density vegetation were computed by collecting micrometeorological data at instrumented sites within these ET units and solving an energy-budget equation using the Bowen ratio method. Daily ET rates were determined at each site by summing 20-minute averaged values computed with micrometeorological data sampled at intervals between 10 and 30 seconds. Annual ET rates for ET units ranged between 0.17 ft for the salt playa and 3.89 ft for dense vegetation.


Study Publication: WRIR03-4254




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