The Influence of Soil and Vegetation on the Development of Mesoscale Circulations

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  • 1 Laboratoire Associé de Météorologie Physique/Observatoire de Physique du Globe de Clermont-Ferrand, Université de Clermont-Ferrand II, 63170 Aubière, France
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Abstract

A two-dimensional mesoscale model including a detailed representation of the planetary boundary layer, the soil and the vegetation is developed. A sea breeze over flat terrain is simulated, thereby confirming the ability of the model to reproduce the known properties of this mesoscale phenomenon. The atmospheric response to soil and vegetation inhomogeneities is then examined with no synoptic flow over flat terrain. The results reveal the large influence of soil texture on surface moisture availability. The transition zone between bare soil and vegetation appears to be a preferred location for the initiation of moist convection. A vegetation canopy over very dry or very wet surfaces reduces the spread between sensible and latent heat fluxes.

Abstract

A two-dimensional mesoscale model including a detailed representation of the planetary boundary layer, the soil and the vegetation is developed. A sea breeze over flat terrain is simulated, thereby confirming the ability of the model to reproduce the known properties of this mesoscale phenomenon. The atmospheric response to soil and vegetation inhomogeneities is then examined with no synoptic flow over flat terrain. The results reveal the large influence of soil texture on surface moisture availability. The transition zone between bare soil and vegetation appears to be a preferred location for the initiation of moist convection. A vegetation canopy over very dry or very wet surfaces reduces the spread between sensible and latent heat fluxes.

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