Evapotranspiration is a key component of the hydrological cycle and affects the management of water resources, especially in the water limited environments of Queensland. It also plays a key role in the global water and carbon cycles. The physics of evapotranspiration is well understood, but its estimation using methods such as modelling and remote sensing remains a challenge. Key to this is the lack of measured data. The aim of this PhD study is to improve evapotranspiration estimates in the grazed woodlands of Queensland using a combination of approaches from flux towers, satellites, machine learning and modelling. This study will collect direct measurements of evapotranspiration, soil moisture and pasture biomass from the new Queensland Fletcherview Rangeland SuperSite, where the eddy covariance technique is used to monitor fluxes of carbon, water and energy. These measured data will improve model performance and applicability by enhancing the science that underpins water balance and vegetation models, which are based on data. These direct measurements from eddy covariance methods are needed to parameterise and evaluate biophysical models that are being used operationally for land and vegetation management in Queensland. The estimates of actual evaporation from this study will also contribute to hydrological and land surface modelling applications in Australia.
For more information or zoom link, please email the Graduate Research School or phone (07) 4631 1088. The zoom links are included in the ReDTrain Bulletin.