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Wageningen Universiteit Pays Bas (1995)

Surface energy balance of shrub vegetation in the Sahel

Verhoef, A.

Titre : Surface energy balance of shrub vegetation in the Sahel

Auteur : Verhoef, A.

Université de soutenance  : Wageningen Universiteit

Grade : PhD thesis 1995

Résumé partiel
Recently, the development and use of Global Circulation Models, employed for climate change prediction, has taken off. These models provide us with the current and future status of the surface, expressed by the surface energy and water balances. In order to obtain reliable climate-predictions there is an urgent need for reliable input data from all major biomes covering our Globe. The Sahel has been one of the most important areas of application for GCMs, in order to understand the reasons for its declining rainfall, a process that started in the early seventies. It is therefore of paramount importance to monitor the surface conditions of this vulnerable area, where drought and land use interact to create surface conditions able of altering the regional climate.

This thesis describes the surface energy balance of Sahelian shrub vegetation (fallow savannah and tiger-bush) by using micrometeorological data obtained in the framework of the HAPEX-Sahel and SEBEX project. The surface energy balance defines how net radiation is partitioned over the atmospheric fluxes (sensible and latent heat flux) and the soil heat flux. The energy balance is studied on a diurnal, seasonal and interannual scale. In addition the CO 2 flux of savannah is described. The fallow savannah is part of a rotation scheme (usually millet) and consists of scattered shrubs (Guiera senegalensis) interspersed by a sparse undergrowth of grasses and herb species. The tiger-bush takes its name, when viewed from the sky, from the resemblance to a tiger skin. It is composed of elongated vegetation patches, mainly consisting of Guiera senegalensis with an occasional tree, growing on bare, crusted, practically impenetrable soil.

Mots clés : microclimate / vegetation / interactions / air temperature / fluctuations / atmosphere / radiation / temperature / soil temperature / meteorology / land surface

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