Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Luke A. Pangle

Second Advisor

Jeremy E. Diem

Third Advisor

Sarah H. Ledford


Quantifying actual evapotranspiration (AET) in urbanized watersheds helps water managers develop accurate water budgets and aids in predicting future water budgets, especially in the face of land-cover and climate change. This paper presents multiple methods, with focus on Penman-Monteith approach, to estimate 20 years of daily, monthly, and annual AET totals in an urbanized watershed, the South River watershed (SRW), in Atlanta, GA. Land cover analysis confirmed NLCD definitions and revealed developed classes 21-24 contain 48.18%, 24.26%, 13.79%, and 4.43% forest cover, respectively. Additionally, it was found that the annual AET of the SRW is approximately 800 mm/yr, with about 10% coming solely from impervious land cover. A decreasing annual AET trend was observed for the SRW, resulting from land cover changes and decreasing incoming solar radiation. Finally, TerraClimate reference AET datasets overestimated urban AET, while statistical models typically underestimated AET when compared to reference water balance AET estimates.


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