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: 390825114034301

Study contact: Michael Moreo

ET Data

Annual ET reported (in inches): 10.03

Study period: 9/01/05 - 8/31/06

Days recorded: 785 from 8/17/05 to 10/11/07


Measurement method: Eddy covariance

Data: Download from NWISWeb

Graph of ET data

Location information

in decimal degrees
in decimal degrees
39.14015307 -114.06199054 5110


Photo of ET site


Photo of ET site

ET Source Area

Medium-density desert shrubs, primarily greasewood


Study Information

Evapotranspiration was measured at six eddy-correlation sites for a 1-year period between September 1, 2005, and August 31, 2006. Five sites were in phreatophytic shrubland dominated by greasewood, and one site was in a grassland meadow. The measured annual evapotranspiration ranged from 10.02 to 12.77 inches at the shrubland sites and 26.94 inches at the grassland site. Evapotranspiration rates correlated to measured vegetation densities and to satellite-derived vegetation indexes. Evapotranspiration rates were greater at sites with denser vegetation. The primary water source supporting evapotranspiration was water derived from local precipitation at the shrubland sites, and ground water at the grassland site. Measured precipitation, ranging from 6.21 to 11.41 inches, was within 20 percent of the computed long-term annual mean. The amount of ground water consumed by phreatophytes depends primarily on local precipitation and vegetation density. The ground-water contribution to local evapotranspiration ranged from 6 to 38 percent of total evapotranspiration at the shrubland sites, and 70 percent of total evapotranspiration at the grassland site. Average depth to water ranged from 7.2 to 32.4 feet below land surface at the shrubland sites, and 3.9 feet at the grassland site. Water levels declined throughout the growing season and recovered during the non-growing season. Diurnal water-level fluctuations associated with evapotranspiration were evident at some sites but not at others.


Study Publication: SIR 2007-5078




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