Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Steve Running

Commitee Members

Kelsey Jencso, Ashley Ballantyne, Anna Klene


evapotranspiration, MOD16, precipitation, flux tower, NTSG


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Hydrology | Other Forestry and Forest Sciences


The MODIS evapotranspiration (MOD16 ET) product is a highly used remote sensing model developed by the University of Montana’s Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG) to assess spatial patterns of terrestrial evapotranspiration across the entire globe. Due to the lack of satisfactory global precipitation datasets, MOD16 was originally forced to rely solely on vapor pressure deficit as a vegetative water stress component. As accurate, high-resolution precipitation datasets are becoming available, the logic of MOD16 has been revisited to include a daily 4 km resolution gridded precipitation input and a simple bucket model representing soil moisture conditions. This new model, termed “regional MOD16” (rMOD16), was validated using a series of flux towers within three biome types across a latitudinal gradient. Results show that rMOD16 has improved ET estimates compared to the original MOD16, with non-growing season estimates seeing the most improvement.

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© Copyright 2015 Jami J. Seirer