This dataset provides accurate, high-resolution (30 m) / high-frequency (monthly) / continuous (no gaps due to cloud) actual evapotranspiration (AET) for Australia using the CMRSET algorithm. The CMRSET algorithm uses reflective remotely sensed indices to estimate AET from potential evapotranspiration (PET; calculated using daily gridded meteorological data generated by the Bureau of Meteorology). Blending high-resolution / low-frequency AET estimates (e.g., Landsat and Sentinel-2) with low-resolution / high-frequency AET estimates (e.g., MODIS and VIIRS) results in AET data that are high-resolution / high-frequency / continuous (no gaps due to cloud) and accurate. These are all ideal characteristics when calculating the water balance for a wetland, paddock, river reach, irrigation area, landscape or catchment.
Accurate AET information is important for irrigation, food security and environmental management. Like many other parts of the world, water availability in Australia is limited and AET is the largest consumptive component of the water balance. In Australia 70% of available water is used for crop and pasture irrigation and better monitoring will support improved water use efficiency in this sector, with any water savings available as environmental flows. Additionally, ground-water dependent ecosystems (GDE) occupy a small area yet are "biodiversity hotspots", and knowing their water needs allows for enhanced management of these critical areas in the landscape. Having high-resolution, frequent and accurate AET estimates for all of Australia means this AET data source can be used to model the water balance for any catchment / groundwater system in Australia.
Details of the CMRSET algorithm and its independent validation are provided in Guerschman, J.P., McVicar, T.R., Vleeshouwer, J., Van Niel, T.G., Peña-Arancibia, J.L. and Chen, Y. (2022) Estimating actual evapotranspiration at field-to-continent scales by calibrating the CMRSET algorithm with MODIS, VIIRS, Landsat and Sentinel-2 data. Journal of Hydrology. 605, 127318, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2021.127318
We strongly recommend users to use the TERN CMRSET AET V2.2. Details of the TERN CMRSET AET V2.2 data product generation are provided in McVicar, T.R., Vleeshouwer, J., Van Niel, T.G., Guerschman, J.P., Peña-Arancibia, J.L. and Stenson, M.P. (2022) Generating a multi-decade gap-free high-resolution monthly actual evapotranspiration dataset for Australia using Landsat, MODIS and VIIRS data in the Google Earth Engine platform: Development and use cases. Journal of Hydrology (In Preparation).
This work was funded by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), an Australian Government NCRIS enabled project, and is supported by the use of TERN infrastructure.
To provide accurate, timely, high-resolution, high-frequency and continuous estimates of actual evapotranspiration (AET) data across Australia to support improved water resource management and environmental management.