Abstract

Land surface states play important roles in the turbulent exchanges between ecosystems and their overlying atmosphere. Field methods to estimate turbulent fluxes have time-variable source areas, while land surface observations are typically obtained at single plots with a smaller measurement scale. In this study, we characterize land-atmosphere interactions in two semiarid ecosystems in the southwestern U.S. At each study site, we combine the eddy covariance method with a distributed network of soil moisture and temperature sensors, high-resolution imagery of the spatial distribution of vegetation and soil patches, and novel spatiotemporal analyses to characterize the turbulent flux footprint analytically and identify the soil moisture, temperature, and vegetation conditions underlying the eddy covariance measurements. Four methods for aggregating the land surface observations to the scale of the daily flux footprint are tested. Our results reveal a large degree of spatial variability in the footprint, with stronger variations in soil moisture than in soil temperature. Single plot measurements are less reliable than the distributed network in capturing footprint conditions, particularly for soil moisture. Furthermore, a marked improvement is observed in the relations between turbulent fluxes and land surface states for methods capturing the footprint variability. We also identify that the composition of vegetation and soil patches in the time-variable source area affects the relative magnitudes of the turbulent fluxes and the partitioning of evapotranspiration. Our study points to the importance of monitoring the spatial distribution of land surface states (e.g., soil moisture and temperature) and vegetation and soil patches when assessing land-atmosphere interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4785-4800
Number of pages16
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Fingerprint

footprint
land surface
soil moisture
atmosphere
ecosystem
soil temperature
vegetation
eddy covariance
spatial distribution
soil
field method
evapotranspiration
imagery
partitioning
land
sensor
monitoring
method
temperature

Keywords

  • environmental sensor network
  • evapotranspiration
  • land-atmosphere interactions
  • North American monsoon
  • turbulent fluxes
  • woody plant encroachment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

@article{03302fa557ca4f9c83bad5ba4b941fca,
title = "Impact of land surface states within the flux footprint on daytime land-atmosphere coupling in two semiarid ecosystems of the Southwestern U.S.",
abstract = "Land surface states play important roles in the turbulent exchanges between ecosystems and their overlying atmosphere. Field methods to estimate turbulent fluxes have time-variable source areas, while land surface observations are typically obtained at single plots with a smaller measurement scale. In this study, we characterize land-atmosphere interactions in two semiarid ecosystems in the southwestern U.S. At each study site, we combine the eddy covariance method with a distributed network of soil moisture and temperature sensors, high-resolution imagery of the spatial distribution of vegetation and soil patches, and novel spatiotemporal analyses to characterize the turbulent flux footprint analytically and identify the soil moisture, temperature, and vegetation conditions underlying the eddy covariance measurements. Four methods for aggregating the land surface observations to the scale of the daily flux footprint are tested. Our results reveal a large degree of spatial variability in the footprint, with stronger variations in soil moisture than in soil temperature. Single plot measurements are less reliable than the distributed network in capturing footprint conditions, particularly for soil moisture. Furthermore, a marked improvement is observed in the relations between turbulent fluxes and land surface states for methods capturing the footprint variability. We also identify that the composition of vegetation and soil patches in the time-variable source area affects the relative magnitudes of the turbulent fluxes and the partitioning of evapotranspiration. Our study points to the importance of monitoring the spatial distribution of land surface states (e.g., soil moisture and temperature) and vegetation and soil patches when assessing land-atmosphere interactions.",
keywords = "environmental sensor network, evapotranspiration, land-atmosphere interactions, North American monsoon, turbulent fluxes, woody plant encroachment",
author = "Anderson, {Cody A.} and Enrique Vivoni",
year = "2016",
month = "6",
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doi = "10.1002/2015WR018016",
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journal = "Water Resources Research",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Impact of land surface states within the flux footprint on daytime land-atmosphere coupling in two semiarid ecosystems of the Southwestern U.S.

AU - Anderson, Cody A.

AU - Vivoni, Enrique

PY - 2016/6/1

Y1 - 2016/6/1

N2 - Land surface states play important roles in the turbulent exchanges between ecosystems and their overlying atmosphere. Field methods to estimate turbulent fluxes have time-variable source areas, while land surface observations are typically obtained at single plots with a smaller measurement scale. In this study, we characterize land-atmosphere interactions in two semiarid ecosystems in the southwestern U.S. At each study site, we combine the eddy covariance method with a distributed network of soil moisture and temperature sensors, high-resolution imagery of the spatial distribution of vegetation and soil patches, and novel spatiotemporal analyses to characterize the turbulent flux footprint analytically and identify the soil moisture, temperature, and vegetation conditions underlying the eddy covariance measurements. Four methods for aggregating the land surface observations to the scale of the daily flux footprint are tested. Our results reveal a large degree of spatial variability in the footprint, with stronger variations in soil moisture than in soil temperature. Single plot measurements are less reliable than the distributed network in capturing footprint conditions, particularly for soil moisture. Furthermore, a marked improvement is observed in the relations between turbulent fluxes and land surface states for methods capturing the footprint variability. We also identify that the composition of vegetation and soil patches in the time-variable source area affects the relative magnitudes of the turbulent fluxes and the partitioning of evapotranspiration. Our study points to the importance of monitoring the spatial distribution of land surface states (e.g., soil moisture and temperature) and vegetation and soil patches when assessing land-atmosphere interactions.

AB - Land surface states play important roles in the turbulent exchanges between ecosystems and their overlying atmosphere. Field methods to estimate turbulent fluxes have time-variable source areas, while land surface observations are typically obtained at single plots with a smaller measurement scale. In this study, we characterize land-atmosphere interactions in two semiarid ecosystems in the southwestern U.S. At each study site, we combine the eddy covariance method with a distributed network of soil moisture and temperature sensors, high-resolution imagery of the spatial distribution of vegetation and soil patches, and novel spatiotemporal analyses to characterize the turbulent flux footprint analytically and identify the soil moisture, temperature, and vegetation conditions underlying the eddy covariance measurements. Four methods for aggregating the land surface observations to the scale of the daily flux footprint are tested. Our results reveal a large degree of spatial variability in the footprint, with stronger variations in soil moisture than in soil temperature. Single plot measurements are less reliable than the distributed network in capturing footprint conditions, particularly for soil moisture. Furthermore, a marked improvement is observed in the relations between turbulent fluxes and land surface states for methods capturing the footprint variability. We also identify that the composition of vegetation and soil patches in the time-variable source area affects the relative magnitudes of the turbulent fluxes and the partitioning of evapotranspiration. Our study points to the importance of monitoring the spatial distribution of land surface states (e.g., soil moisture and temperature) and vegetation and soil patches when assessing land-atmosphere interactions.

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