Water Balance and Evapotranspiration Monitoring in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering

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Among the various components of the water balance, measurement of evapotranspiration has probably been the most difficult component to quantify and measure experimentally. Some attempts for direct measurement of evapotranspiration have included the use of weighing lysimeters. However, quantification of evapotranspiration has been typically conducted using energy balance approaches or indirect water balance methods that rely on quantification of other water balance components. This paper initially presents the fundamental aspects of evapotranspiration as well as of its evaporation and transpiration components. Typical methods used for prediction of evapotranspiration based on meteorological information are also discussed. The current trend of using evapotranspirative cover systems for closure of waste containment facilities located in arid climates has brought renewed needs for quantification of evapotranspiration. Finally, case histories where direct or indirect measurements of evapotranspiration have been conducted are described and analyzed.

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