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Arizona State University (2012)

Relative efficiency of surface energy budgets over different land covers

Yang, Jiachuan

Titre : Relative efficiency of surface energy budgets over different land covers

Auteur : Yang, Jiachuan

Université de soutenance : Arizona State University (ASU)

Grade : M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering 2012

The partitioning of available solar energy into different fluxes at the Earth’s surface is important in determining different physical processes, such as turbulent transport, subsurface hydrology, land-atmospheric interactions, etc. Direct measurements of these turbulent fluxes were carried out using eddy-covariance (EC) towers. However, the distribution of EC towers is sparse due to relatively high cost and practical difficulties in logistics and deployment. As a result, data is temporally and spatially limited and is inadequate to be used for researches at large scales, such as regional and global climate modeling. Besides field measurements, an alternative way is to estimate turbulent fluxes based on the intrinsic relations between surface energy budget components, largely through thermodynamic equilibrium. These relations, referred as relative efficiency, have been included in several models to estimate the magnitude of turbulent fluxes in surface energy budgets such as latent heat and sensible heat. In this study, three theoretical models based on the lumped heat transfer model, the linear stability analysis and the maximum entropy principle respectively, were investigated. Model predictions of relative efficiencies were compared with turbulent flux data over different land covers, viz. lake, grassland and suburban surfaces. Similar results were observed over lake and suburban surface but significant deviation is found over vegetation surface. The relative efficiency of outgoing longwave radiation is found to be orders of magnitude deviated from theoretic predictions. Meanwhile, results show that energy partitioning process is influenced by the surface water availability to a great extent. The study provides insight into what property is determining energy partitioning process over different land covers and gives suggestion for future models.

Subject : Atmospheric sciences / land cover / relative efficiency / surface energy budget

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