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Modeling Water and Heat Balance of the Boreal Landscape—Comparison of Forest and Arable Land in Scandinavia

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  • a WSL, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Davos, Switzerland, and Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  • | b Division of Environmental Physics, Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
  • | c Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
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Abstract

The water and heat balances of an arable field and a forest in the boreal zone in Scandinavia were explored using 3 yr of observations and simulations with two different soil–vegetation–atmosphere transfer (SVAT) models over a 30-yr period. Results from a detailed mechanistic model [coupled heat and mass transfer model (COUP)] were compared with those obtained with a large-scale type of SVAT model used in the weather prediction model at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts [ECMWF tiled land surface scheme (TESSEL)]. The COUP model simulations agreed well with the observations from a seasonal perspective. The TESSEL model differed significantly from the measurements when standard operational parameter values were used. The introduction of a seasonal variation in leaf-area index values, tuned canopy resistance for forest, and a reduced roughness length over snow-covered open land reduced the discrepancies. Net radiation was 40% higher in the forest when compared with the arable land, based on 30-yr simulations with both models. Furthermore, the forest was a net source of sensible heat flux, whereas the arable land was a net sink. Because of different treatment of winter interception evaporation, forest latent heat flux based on the COUP model considerably exceeded that from the TESSEL model, and suggested that the total annual evaporation was higher from the forest than from arable land. The representation of interception evaporation in winter, as well as seasonal dynamics in vegetation properties are, thus, of considerable importance for adequate simulation of forest and arable land energy fluxes within the boreal zone.

Corresponding author address: David Gustafsson, Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology KTH, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden. davidg@kth.se

Abstract

The water and heat balances of an arable field and a forest in the boreal zone in Scandinavia were explored using 3 yr of observations and simulations with two different soil–vegetation–atmosphere transfer (SVAT) models over a 30-yr period. Results from a detailed mechanistic model [coupled heat and mass transfer model (COUP)] were compared with those obtained with a large-scale type of SVAT model used in the weather prediction model at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts [ECMWF tiled land surface scheme (TESSEL)]. The COUP model simulations agreed well with the observations from a seasonal perspective. The TESSEL model differed significantly from the measurements when standard operational parameter values were used. The introduction of a seasonal variation in leaf-area index values, tuned canopy resistance for forest, and a reduced roughness length over snow-covered open land reduced the discrepancies. Net radiation was 40% higher in the forest when compared with the arable land, based on 30-yr simulations with both models. Furthermore, the forest was a net source of sensible heat flux, whereas the arable land was a net sink. Because of different treatment of winter interception evaporation, forest latent heat flux based on the COUP model considerably exceeded that from the TESSEL model, and suggested that the total annual evaporation was higher from the forest than from arable land. The representation of interception evaporation in winter, as well as seasonal dynamics in vegetation properties are, thus, of considerable importance for adequate simulation of forest and arable land energy fluxes within the boreal zone.

Corresponding author address: David Gustafsson, Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology KTH, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden. davidg@kth.se

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