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New Approach to the Measurement of Interception Evaporation

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  • 1 Division of Water Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Lulea, Sweden
  • | 2 Department of Hydrology, Institute of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
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Abstract

Evaporation of water intercepted by vegetation represents an important (sometimes major) part of evapotranspiration in temperate regions. Interception evaporation is an important process where insufficient measurement techniques hamper progress in knowledge and modeling. An ideal technique to study the interception evaporation process should monitor intercepted mass (and its vertical distribution) and interception loss with high accuracy (0.1 mm) and time resolution (1 min), and give correct area estimates. The method should be inexpensive, require minor supervision during extended periods, and work in dense forests. Net precipitation techniques, in which interception evaporation is determined from the difference between gross precipitation (measured with funnels) and throughfall (measured with funnels, troughs, or plastic sheet net-rainfall gauges) fulfill many of the requirements but usually have a too-low accuracy and time resolution for process studies. Precipitation measurements are normally affected by distortion of the wind field around gauges as well as by adhesive and evaporative losses. Throughfall measurements with precipitation funnels, troughs, or plastic sheet net-rainfall gauges, manually emptied or combined with tipping buckets, usually have too-low accuracy and time resolution for process studies and are impaired by adhesive losses. A new loadcell-based system to determine interception evaporation from gross and net precipitation is presented. A weighing gauge with minimal wind loss is used for precipitation, and weighing troughs are used for throughfall measurements. The weighing troughs minimize adhesive-loss errors and react instantaneously. Preliminary results with the method confirm that it can be used for process studies with a high accuracy (0.1 mm) and a high time resolution (1 min).

Corresponding author address: Ms. Angela Lundberg, Division of Water Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, S-971 87 Luleå, Sweden.

Email: angela.lundberg@sb.luth.se

Abstract

Evaporation of water intercepted by vegetation represents an important (sometimes major) part of evapotranspiration in temperate regions. Interception evaporation is an important process where insufficient measurement techniques hamper progress in knowledge and modeling. An ideal technique to study the interception evaporation process should monitor intercepted mass (and its vertical distribution) and interception loss with high accuracy (0.1 mm) and time resolution (1 min), and give correct area estimates. The method should be inexpensive, require minor supervision during extended periods, and work in dense forests. Net precipitation techniques, in which interception evaporation is determined from the difference between gross precipitation (measured with funnels) and throughfall (measured with funnels, troughs, or plastic sheet net-rainfall gauges) fulfill many of the requirements but usually have a too-low accuracy and time resolution for process studies. Precipitation measurements are normally affected by distortion of the wind field around gauges as well as by adhesive and evaporative losses. Throughfall measurements with precipitation funnels, troughs, or plastic sheet net-rainfall gauges, manually emptied or combined with tipping buckets, usually have too-low accuracy and time resolution for process studies and are impaired by adhesive losses. A new loadcell-based system to determine interception evaporation from gross and net precipitation is presented. A weighing gauge with minimal wind loss is used for precipitation, and weighing troughs are used for throughfall measurements. The weighing troughs minimize adhesive-loss errors and react instantaneously. Preliminary results with the method confirm that it can be used for process studies with a high accuracy (0.1 mm) and a high time resolution (1 min).

Corresponding author address: Ms. Angela Lundberg, Division of Water Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, S-971 87 Luleå, Sweden.

Email: angela.lundberg@sb.luth.se

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