Evaporation and Transpiration

  • Released Thursday, March 8th, 2012
  • Updated Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 at 12:18AM

Much of the water that soaks into the soil from irrigation or rain ultimately returns the the atmosphere as water vapor through direct evaporation from the surface or by transpiration through plant leaves as the plants use the water for growth and seed production. This loss cools the surface and plant canopy just like the evaporation of sweat cools our skin. A cool field in an arid area indicates water use by irrigation.

Using the surface temperatures measured by satellites, and some additional information, water resource managers can determine the rate at which water is used in a farm field.

Still image showing evapotranspiration. Soil and plants lose moisture to the air, and are cooled down, similar to sweat evaporating from skin.

Still image showing evapotranspiration. Soil and plants lose moisture to the air, and are cooled down, similar to sweat evaporating from skin.



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab


Series

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