A comparison of surface fluxes at the HAPEX-Sahel fallow bush sites.

C.R. Lloyd, P. Bessemoulin, F.D. Cropley, A.D. Culf, A.J. Dolman, J. Elbers, J. Moncrieff, B. Monteny, A. Verhoef

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The variability between surface flux measurements at the fallow sites of the three HAPEX-Sahel supersites is examined over periods of three or four consecutive days. A roving eddy correlation instrument provided a common base for comparison at each supersite. The inhomogeneity of the surface and the instrumental layout did not provide the conditions to allow the separation of the effects of instrument error from those due to the spatial variability of vegetation cover and soil moisture. Surface fluxes of sensible and latent heat and energy balance terms were intercompared at each supersite over summation timescales of 1 hour and 3 days. It is shown that, generally, HAPEX-Sahel hourly sensible heat flux and latent heat values have confidence limits of 15% and 20% respectively. The three-day period energy balance shows the combined sensible and latent heat fluxes to have a confidence limit of 3%. It is concluded that, due to the averaging effect of longer time periods and larger flux footprints on spatial inhomogeneity, confidence in the surface flux measurements increases with longer summation periods and with neutral atmospheric surface layers which characterise the rainy period of the Intensive Observation Period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-425
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • microclimate
  • plants
  • boundaries
  • plant communities
  • vegetation
  • research
  • sahel

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    Lloyd, C. R., Bessemoulin, P., Cropley, F. D., Culf, A. D., Dolman, A. J., Elbers, J., Moncrieff, J., Monteny, B., & Verhoef, A. (1997). A comparison of surface fluxes at the HAPEX-Sahel fallow bush sites. Journal of Hydrology, 188-189(1-4), 400-425. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-1694(96)03184-8