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: 394508118025505

Study contact: Amanda Garcia

ET Data

Annual ET reported (in inches): 6.8

Study period: 10/01/09 - 9/30/11

Days recorded: 967 from 4/15/09 to 9/30/11


Measurement method: Eddy covariance

Data: Download from NWISWeb

Graph of ET data

Location information

in decimal degrees
in decimal degrees
39.752167 -118.048508 3385.77


Photo of ET site


Photo of ET site

ET Source Area

Dry-to-moist playa


Study Information

Evapotranspiration (ET) was measured at four eddy-covariance sites for a 2.5-year period between April 15, 2009 and September 30, 2011. Sites were selected to measure ET, water levels, variables affecting ET, and to evaluate groundwater discharge in Dixie Valley. Two ET sites were located in phreatophytic vegetation that mostly characterizes the groundwater discharge area and two ET sites were located on the unvegetated playa. One vegetated ET site was in dense vegetation (DV) and the other ET site was in sparse vegetation. The playa ET sites (playa 1 [PL1] and playa 2 [PL2]) were located in areas characteristic of the various playa soil regimes and surface properties. The DV site was characterized by a mean vegetative cover of 24.8 percent during spring and summer months (May 2009–July 2011) and a mean shrub height of 2.7 feet. The SV site was characterized by a mean vegetative cover of 7.3 percent during spring and summer months (May 2009–July 2011) and a mean shrub height of 2.3 feet. The PL1 ET site was the drier of the two playa ET sites whereas the PL2 site was the wetter site. Annual ET at vegetated sites increased with vegetation density and ranged from 8.52 to 16.22 inches. Annual ET at playa ET sites decreased from the playa edge toward the center and ranged from 6.1 to 6.81 inches. Groundwater contributed to more than half of the annual ET measured at the DV site and to about 25 percent of annual ET measured at the SV site. Annual ET on the playa was primarily supplied by precipitation despite water-table depths of 1.7 to 2.3 feet below land surface. Groundwater contributed to 3-12 percent of annual ET on the playa, but these estimates are within the uncertainty of the measurements.


Study Publication: PP1805




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