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Created: Dec 10, 2019 at 10:47 p.m.
Last updated: Dec 16, 2019 at 8:45 a.m.
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ET plays a significant role in the terrestrial water cycle, accounting for up to 70% of the water budget depending on the environment. Disturbances in land cover such as urbanization, changes in cropping patterns and fire all impact the amount of water that is removed from the surface via ET. Currently, these disturbances are not assimilated in models where evapotranspiration is a function of land cover such as the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) or the National Water Model (NWM). Part of this challenge is in the ability to identify basins that have experience disturbance. Following upon work that highlights the role of ET of post-fire regions, and cropped landscapes we explore how the operational MODIS ET mission can be used to identify basins that have experienced some form of disturbance. Using the 20 year MOD16 record and the computational capacities of Google Earth Engine, we develop ET signatures for all California watersheds and search for how deviations can be used to identify time and types of disturbance.

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