This paper evaluates how well the FAO-56 style soil water evaporation model simulates measurements of evaporation (E) from bare soil. Seven data sets were identified from the literature and in all but one case, the individuals who took the measurements were contacted and they provided the writers with specific weather and soils data for model input. Missing weather and soils data were obtained from online sources or from the National Climatic Data Center. Simulations for three possible variations of soil data were completed and compared. The measured and the FAO-56 simulated E/ETo and cumulative evaporation trends and values were similar. Specifically, the average evaporation weighted percent difference between the measured and the simulated cumulative evaporation was between –7.5 and –0.5%. This evaluation suggests model accuracy of about ±15% with the use of sound weather data and a fairly generalized understanding of soil properties in the location being evaluated.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cburt/5/