Comparison of Methods Used to Estimate Lake Evaporation for a Water Budget of Lake Seminole, Southwestern Georgia and Northwestern Florida
Mosner, Melinda S.
Aulenbach, Brent T.
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Four empirical methods for calculating evaporation were compared with calculations of evaporation using the energy budget for Lake Seminole, southwestern Georgia and northwestern Florida, for April 2000–September 2001. Methods compared were the Priestly-Taylor, Penman, DeBruin-Keijman, and Papadakis equations. Evaporation calculated using the energy budget and empirical methods then were compared with estimates published daily by the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network (GAEMN) (2002). Average monthly lake evaporation using the energy budget method was 5.6 inches. Monthly estimates of evaporation from the GAEMN were 20 percent lower, and similar estimates derived from the empirical equations were as much as 16 percent higher, than evaporation estimated using the energy budget. Despite these large discrepancies between evaporation estimates, the effect on the lake water budget is small, because evaporation accounts for only about 1 percent of total lake outflow.