CR 16:123-131 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/cr016123

Reconstruction of potential evaporation for water balance studies

Ralf Weisse1,*, Ralph Oestreicher2

1GKSS Forschungszentrum, Institut für Gewässerphysik, Max-Planck-Straße 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
2UTK Klima Consult, Platanenweg 45, 06712 Zeitz, Germany
*E-mail:

ABSTRACT: A large number of environmental management decisions such as the remediation of a mine site require the best possible knowledge of the water balance of the site or the catchment area. For precipitation a large number of observations exists and usually some data are available which are more or less representative for the precipitation conditions in the catchment. However, to close the water balance knowledge about evaporation is also required. This is usually not available from observations. Also bulk formulas cannot be used to reconstruct evaporation for a sufficiently long time, since observations of the input variables are limited as well. In this article an approach is presented showing how local potential evaporation may be reconstructed from other local and non-local atmospheric variables for which long-term observations are available. The method is demonstrated for the planned artificial lakes in the closed down mine sites in the Geiseltal (Germany) and aims at the estimation of the probability distribution of the difference between precipitation and evaporation for the surface water balance.


KEY WORDS: Statistical downscaling · Meteorological water balance · Remediation of mining areas


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