Seminars & Webinars

Rediscovering Robert E. Horton's lake evaporation formulae: New directions for evaporation physics

Solomon Vimal, CEO, Geothara and Postdoc, Jacopns-Technion Institue, Cornell-Tech, NYC

Friday, February 10, 2023 at 2:30 pm EST

Evaporation from open water is among the most studied problems in hydrology, studied rigorously since late 1600s. Robert E. Horton, unbeknownst to most investigators on the subject, studied it in great detail by conducting experiments and heuristically relating his observations to physical laws. His large body of work on evaporation was buried in unconventional publication outlets (reports and inaccessible tables) and so was largely overlooked by scientists for over a century. In our recent work (Vimal and Singh, 2022), we examined his work and found that his open water evaporation method improves or replaces current methods. Our main findings include: R2 improvement by up to ~50% in 30-min scales, and up to ~15% in seasonal scales; global reanalysis data-based evaporation estimation using Horton's method outperforms other methods with local data;  with the process insights gained, a seemingly anomalous observations of pan evaporation (dubbed evaporation paradox) can be explained and their measurements can now be better integrated into hydrologic models. I will close the talk with an appeal to scientists to revisit his treasure trove of ~200 papers (estimated), some of which are buried as unpublished material in a US national archive. More details are in the full paper here

This presentation will take place in Room 303, ELab, UMass Amherst.
To join online, go to Zoom link, password is ewreewre