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Sensors 2007, 7(8), 1612-1629; doi:10.3390/s7081612

An Overview of the "Triangle Method" for Estimating Surface Evapotranspiration and Soil Moisture from Satellite Imagery

Professor of Meteorology, PennState University, 619 Walker Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Received: 7 August 2007 / Accepted: 21 August 2007 / Published: 24 August 2007
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Natural Resources and the Environment)
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An overview of the ‘triangle’ method for estimating soil surface wetness and evapotranspiration fraction from satellite imagery is presented here. The method is insensitive to initial atmospheric and surface conditions, net radiation and atmospheric correction, yet can yield accuracies comparable to other methods. We describe the method first from the standpoint of the how the triangle is observed as obtained from aircraft and satellite image data and then show how the triangle can be created from a land surface model. By superimposing the model triangle over the observed one, pixel values from the image are determined for all points within the triangle. We further show how the stretched (or ‘universal’) triangle can be used to interpret pixel configurations within the triangle, showing how the temporal trajectories of points uniquely describe patterns of land use change. Finally, we conclude the paper with a brief assessment of the method’s limitations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Triangle Method; Evapotranspiration; Surface Wetness; Land Use Analysis Triangle Method; Evapotranspiration; Surface Wetness; Land Use Analysis

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Carlson, T. An Overview of the "Triangle Method" for Estimating Surface Evapotranspiration and Soil Moisture from Satellite Imagery. Sensors 2007, 7, 1612-1629.

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