Understanding the daily cycle of evapotranspiration: a method to quantify the influence of forcings and feedbacks

C.C. van Heerwaarden, J. Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, A. Gounou, F. Guichard, F. Couvreux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A method to analyze the daily cycle of evapotranspiration over land is presented. It quantifies the influence of external forcings, such as radiation and advection, and of internal feedbacks induced by boundary layer, surface layer, and land surface processes on evapotranspiration. It consists of a budget equation for evapotranspiration that is derived by combining a time derivative of the Penman–Monteith equation with a mixed-layer model for the convective boundary layer. Measurements and model results for days at two contrasting locations are analyzed using the method: midlatitudes (Cabauw, Netherlands) and semiarid (Niamey, Niger). The analysis shows that the time evolution of evapotranspiration is a complex interplay of forcings and feedbacks. Although evapotranspiration is initiated by radiation, it is significantly regulated by the atmospheric boundary layer and the land surface throughout the day. In both cases boundary layer feedbacks enhance the evapotranspiration up to 20 W m-2 h-1. However, in the case of Niamey this is offset by the land surface feedbacks since the soil drying reaches -30 W m-2 h-1. Remarkably, surface layer feedbacks are of negligible importance in a fully coupled system. Analysis of the boundary layer feedbacks hints at the existence of two regimes in this feedback depending on atmospheric temperature, with a gradual transition region in between the two. In the low-temperature regime specific humidity variations induced by evapotranspiration and dry-air entrainment have a strong impact on the evapotranspiration. In the high-temperature regime the impact of humidity variations is less pronounced and the effects of boundary layer feedbacks are mostly determined by temperature variations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405-1422
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • convective boundary-layer
  • land-atmosphere interaction
  • diurnal time scales
  • soil-moisture
  • surface
  • model
  • evaporation
  • parameterization
  • entrainment
  • inversion

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding the daily cycle of evapotranspiration: a method to quantify the influence of forcings and feedbacks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this