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Flux footprint simulation downwind of a forest edge

By Wim Klaassen and Andrey Sogachev


Surface fluxes, originating from forest patches, are commonly calculated from atmospheric flux measurements at some height above that patch using a correction for flux arising from upwind surfaces. Footprint models have been developed to calculate such a correction. These models commonly assume homogeneous turbulence, resulting in a simulated atmospheric flux equal to the average surface flux in the footprint area. However, atmospheric scalar fluxes downwind of a forest edge have been observed to exceed surface fluxes in the footprint area. Variations in atmospheric turbulence downwind of the forest edge, as simulated with an E – ε model, can explain enhanced atmospheric scalar fluxes. This E – ε model is used to calculate the footprint of atmospheric measurements downwind of a forest edge. Atmospheric fluxes appear mainly enhanced as a result of a stronger sensitivity to fluxes from the upwind surface. A sensitivity analysis shows that the fetch over forest, necessary to reach equilibrium between atmospheric fluxes and surface fluxes, tends to be longer for scalar fluxes as compared to momentum fluxes. With increasing forest density, atmospheric fluxes deviate even more strongly from surface fluxes, but over shorter fetches. It is concluded that scalar fluxes over forests are commonly affected by inhomogeneous turbulence over large fetches downwind of an edge. It is recommended to take horizontal variations in turbulence into account when the footprint is calculated for atmospheric flux measurements downwind of a forest edge. The spatially integrated footprint is recommended to describe the ratio between the atmospheric flux and the average surface flux in the footprint.

Year: 2006
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