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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Site identification: 364555117412401

Study contact: Michael Johnson

ET Data

Annual ET reported (in inches): 7.6

Study period: 1/01/03 - 12/31/05

Days recorded: 1845 from 2/14/02 to 3/05/07


Measurement method: Eddy covariance

Data: Download from NWISWeb

Graph of ET data

Location information

in decimal degrees
in decimal degrees
36.7652777778 -116.693333333 2772


Photo of ET site


Photo of ET site

ET Source Area

Low-density cover of creosote


Study Information

Micrometeorological and soil-moisture data were collected at the Amargosa Desert Research Site facility adjacent to a low-level radioactive and hazardous-chemical waste facility near Beatty, Nevada, 2001–05. Evapotranspiration (ET) data were collected from February 14, 2002, through December 31, 2005. Data were collected in support of ongoing research to improve the understanding of hydrologic and contaminant-transport processes in arid environments.

ET consumes available moisture from plants and soil, and depends on precipitation to replace depleted soil moisture in this desert environment. During drought conditions, with maximum available energy during the summer months of 2002, daily ET typically was less than 0.2 mm/d. With less energy available during drought conditions in late autumn 2002, daily ET was estimated at less than 0.05 mm/d indicating a lower base discharge, although these values are within the measurement error. In contrast to 2002 (fig. 20), with an average daily ET of 0.15 mm/d for the period of record, ET in 2003–05 averaged about 0.5 mm/d. With precipitation to infiltrate soils, daily ET abruptly increased to as much as several millimeters per day and quickly decreased over several days or weeks, but maintained higher base levels of water discharge for extended periods after a storm event. Annual ET during 2003–05 exceeded precipitation measured at the site. ET in excess of precipitation may be attributed to some combination of long-term upward-moving soil moisture from depth, additional moisture inputs from dew formation and advection of unrecorded precipitation-derived moisture near the site, and measurement uncertainties.


Study Publication: DS 284




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