Mean and Flux Horizontal Variability of Virtual Potential Temperature, Moisture, and Carbon Dioxide: Aircraft Observations and LES Study

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Abstract

The effects of the horizontal variability of surface properties on the turbulent fluxes of virtual potential temperature, moisture, and carbon dioxide are investigated by combining aircraft observations with large-eddy simulations (LESs). Daytime fair-weather aircraft measurements from the 2002 International H2O Project¿s 45-km Eastern Track over mixed grassland and winter wheat in southeast Kansas reveal that the western part of the atmospheric boundary layer was warmer and drier than the eastern part, with higher values of carbon dioxide to the east. The temperature and specific humidity patterns are consistent with the pattern of surface fluxes produced by the High-Resolution Land Data Assimilation System. However, the observed turbulent fluxes of virtual potential temperature, moisture, and carbon dioxide, computed as a function of longitude along the flight track, do not show a clear east¿west trend. Rather, the fluxes at 70 m above ground level related better to the surface variability quantified in terms of the normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI), with strong correlation between carbon dioxide fluxes and NDVI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4435-4451
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume136
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • convective boundary-layer
  • large-eddy simulations
  • sensible heat
  • land-surface
  • entrainment
  • scale
  • ihop-2002
  • soil
  • heterogeneity
  • cases-97

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