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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Grapevine Springs

Site identification: 370106117230602

Study contact: Randy Laczniak

ET Data

Annual ET reported (in inches): 29.0

Study period: 12/29/00 - 10/30/02

Days recorded: 768 from 9/28/00 to 11/04/02


Measurement method: Bowen ratio

Data: Download from NWISWeb

Graph of ET data

Location information

in decimal degrees
in decimal degrees
37.01825 -117.385111111 2230


Photo of ET site


Photo of ET site

ET Source Area

High-density cover of desert wild grape, mesquite, desert willow, and arrowweed


Study Information

Evapotranspiration (ET) is estimated volumetrically as the product of ET-unit (general vegetation type) acreage and a representative ET rate. ET-unit acreage is determined from high-resolution multi-spectral imagery; and a representative ET rate is computed from data collected in the Grapevine Springs area using the Bowen-ratio solution to the energy budget, or from rates given in other ET studies in the Death Valley area. The ground-water component of ET is computed by removing the local precipitation component from the ET rate.

Two different procedures, a modified soil-adjusted vegetation index using the percent reflectance of the red and near-infrared wavelengths and land-cover classification using multi-spectral imagery were used to delineate the ET units within each major spring-discharge area. On the basis of the more accurate procedure that uses the vegetation index, ET-unit acreage for the Grapevine Springs discharge area totaled about 192 acres—of which 80 acres were moderate-density vegetation and 112 acres were high-density vegetation. ET-unit acreage for two other discharge areas delineated in the Grapevine Springs area (Surprise Springs and Staininger Spring) totaled about 6 and 43 acres, respectively; and for the discharge areas delineated in the Furnace Creek area (Nevares Springs, Cow Creek–Salt Springs, Texas Spring, and Travertine Springs) totaled about 29, 13, 11, and 21 acres, respectively. In discharge areas other than Grapevine Springs, watering and spring diversions have altered the natural distribution of the vegetation.

The ET rate for high-density vegetation was estimated from micrometeorological data collected at a site in a dense cluster of desert wild grapes in the Grapevine Springs area. During the peak ET period (June and July), daily ET at the site ranged from about 0.18 to 0.25 inch, and monthly ET ranged from about 5.7 to 6.2 inches. ET totaled about 2.7 feet in water year 2001 (October 2000–September 2001) and totaled about 2.3 feet in water year 2002 (October 2001–September 2002). The mean annual ground water lost by local transpiration and evaporation is estimated to be 2.2 feet. Using this annual rate of 2.2 feet to represent the discharge from high-density vegetation, 2.0 feet per year to represent moderate-density vegetation, and ET-unit acreages delineated from the multi-spectral imagery, the mean annual discharge of ground water from the Grapevine Springs discharge area by ET is estimated to be 405 acre-feet. Estimates of the annual discharge of ground water by ET from all other major discharge areas ranged from about 9 acre-feet at Surprise Springs to about 61 acre-feet at Nevares Springs. To account for uncertainties in the mean annual ET rate, a reasonable range for the quantity of ground water annually discharged by riparian vegetation at Grapevine Springs is estimated to be from 400 to 550 acre-feet. Because no water is being imported into or diverted out of the Grapevine Springs area, this range also represents an estimate of the quantity of ground water discharged annually from the area’s local springs and seeps and of the ground-water requirement of the area’s riparian vegetation.


Study Publication: SIR 2006-5145




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