Energy balance closure for the LITFASS-2003 experiment

T. Foken, M. Mauder, C. Liebethal, F. Wimmer, F. Beyrich, J.P. Leps, S. Raasch, H.A.R. Debruin, W.M.L. Meijninger, J. Bange

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In the first part, this paper synthesises the main results from a series of previous studies on the closure of the local energy balance at low-vegetation sites during the LITFASS-2003 experiment. A residual of up to 25% of the available energy has been found which cannot be fully explained either by the measurement uncertainty of the single components of the surface energy balance or by the length of the flux-averaging period. In the second part, secondary circulations due to heterogeneities in the surface characteristics (roughness, thermal and moisture properties) are discussed as a possible cause for the observed energy balance non-closure. This hypothesis seems to be supported from the fluxes derived from area-averaging measurement techniques (scintillometers, aircraft).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-160
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • heterogeneous land-surface
  • large-aperture scintillometer
  • eddy-covariance measurements
  • effective roughness length
  • sonic anemometer
  • flux measurements
  • water-vapor
  • heat-flux
  • experiment ebex-2000
  • turbulent fluxes

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