Novel Deployment of Mobile Eddy Covariance Tower Observations Across Variations in the Built Environment in a Desert Urban Area

Project: Research project

Project Details


The urbanization process in desert regions results in dramatic alterations of the surface energy balance across multiple spatial and temporal scales. While prior studies have documented the surface energy balance in cities worldwide, few of them have been focused on desert urban areas and the impact of outdoor water use and its associated urban elements on the surface energy balance. We propose to use a mobile eddy covariance tower and its associated sensors for the measurement of carbon, heat and water vapor exchanges between different urban patches of homogeneous cover and the overlying atmosphere in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. We will assess the merits of the mobile platform for quantifying the factors (e.g. urban materials, form, outdoor water use, vegetation) that affect the surface energy balance over several seasons. Short period deployments will be performed over varying types of the built environment represented in the Arizona State University campuses and research parks. These include high density urban, low density commercial, low density suburban and an area under active development. Urban classifications derived from high-resolution imagery will be used to determine the characteristics of each deployment site to ensure that appropriate requirements related to fetch, homogeneity and obstruction avoidance are met. By sampling across variations in the built environment, we focus effort on understanding the oasis effect from small patches that generate a disproportionate amount of fluxes to the atmosphere. The short term datasets will be useful for the development and testing of a range of different urban energy and water balance models.
Effective start/end date1/1/159/30/15


  • US Department of Defense (DOD): $49,936.00


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