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Arizona State University (2013)

Assessing Land-Atmosphere Interactions through Distributed Footprint Sampling at Two Eddy Covariance Towers in Semiarid Ecosystems of the Southwestern U.S.

Anderson, Cody Alan

Titre : Assessing Land-Atmosphere Interactions through Distributed Footprint Sampling at Two Eddy Covariance Towers in Semiarid Ecosystems of the Southwestern U.S.

Auteur : Anderson, Cody Alan

Université de soutenance : Arizona State University (ASU)

Grade : M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering 2013

Résumé
Land-atmosphere interactions of semiarid shrublands have garnered significant scientific interest. One of the main tools used for this research is the eddy covariance (EC) method, which measures fluxes of energy, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. EC fluxes can be difficult to interpret due to complexities within the EC footprint (i.e. the surface conditions that contribute to the flux measurements). Most EC studies use a small number of soil probes to estimate the land surface states underlying the measured fluxes, which likely undersamples the footprint-scale conditions, especially in semiarid shrublands which are characterized by high spatial and temporal variability. In this study, I installed a dense network of soil moisture and temperature probe profiles in the footprint region of an EC tower at two semiarid sites : a woody savanna in southern Arizona and a mixed shrubland in southern New Mexico. For data from May to September 2013, I link land surface states to EC fluxes through daily footprints estimated using an analytical model. Novel approaches are utilized to partition evapotranspiration, estimate EC footprint soil states, connect differences in fluxes to footprint composition, and assess key drivers behind soil state variability. I verify the hypothesis that a small number of soil probes poorly estimates the footprint conditions for soil moisture, due to its high spatial variability. Soil temperature, however, behaves more consistently in time and space. As such, distributed surface measurements within the EC footprint allow for stronger ties between evapotranspiration and moisture, but demonstrate no significant improvement in connecting sensible heat flux and temperature. I also find that in these systems vegetation cover appears to have stronger controls on soil moisture and temperature than does soil texture. Further, I explore the influence of footprint vegetation composition on the measured fluxes, which reveals that during the monsoon season evaporative fraction tends to increase with footprint bare soil coverage for the New Mexico site and that the ratio of daily transpiration to evapotranspiration increases with grass coverage at the Arizona site. The thesis results are useful for understanding the land-atmosphere interactions of these ecosystems and for guiding future EC studies in heterogeneous landscap

Subject : Hydrologic sciences / Ecology / Ecohydrology / Eddy covariance / Footprint / Heterogeneous / Land-Atmosphere Interactions / Semiarid Shrubland

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