Energy balance and evaporation loss of an irrigation reservoir equipped with a suspended cover in a semiarid climate (south-eastern Spain)

Journal ar
Hydrological Processes
  • Volumen: 25
  • Número: 11
  • Fecha: 30 May 2011
  • Páginas: 1694-1703
  • ISSN: 08856087 10991085
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7929
  • Document Type: Article
The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of a suspended cover on the evaporation loss of an agricultural water reservoir (AWR). To this aim, a detailed data collection was carried out in a typical AWR located in south-eastern Spain during 2 consecutive years. During the first year, the reservoir remained uncovered, while during the second year it was covered with a double black polyethylene (PE) shade cloth. On an annual scale, it was observed that the cover can provide a reduction of evaporation loss of 85%. Two approaches, energy balance and mass transfer, were used to analyse the effect of the cover on the evaporation process. Important modifications were observed on the magnitude, sign, annual trend and relative weight of the components of the energy balance. The changes were ascribed to the strong reduction of net radiation and to the substantial weight of the heat storage and sensible heat flux in the energy balance. A relevant finding was the contrast between the patterns of the annual evaporation curve for open-water and covered conditions. The mass transfer approach allowed discriminating between the wind- and radiation-shelter effects on the evaporation term. The reduction in water-to-air vapour deficit was the main factor explaining the high efficiency of the cover, whereas the reduction of the mass transfer coefficient was a modulating factor that accounted for the wind-shelter effect. Overall, both approaches provided a sound basis to describe and explain the physical mechanisms underlying the high performance of the tested cover. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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