Surface Water Vapor and Momentum Fluxes under Unstable Conditions from a Rugged-Complex Area

Wilfried Brutsaert School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

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William P. Kustas School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

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Abstract

Measurements were made of the profiles of mean wind velocity, of temperature, and of specific humidity in the unstable atmospheric boundary layer over macro-rough terrain; these data were obtained from radiosonde observations in a calibrated watershed of 3.2 km2 in the hilly Pre-Alps of Switzerland during the summer of 1982. The regional evaporation was reasonably well correlated (R = 0.7) with these profile measurements through a logarithmic height dependency between roughly 2h0 (where h0 ≈ 100 m is the mean height of the roughness obstacles) and 0.6h (where h is the height of the boundary layer above the mean valley level). The shapes of the profiles appear to be essentially independent of the Monin–Obukhov parameter (zd0)/L, but they display a dependency on the wind shear aloft and on the value of (z0/h) (where z0 is the roughness height). Over this rugged surface the relative importance of mechanical turbulence, as compared to convective turbulence, is larger than over terrain with smaller (z0/h) for the same degree of instability of the atmosphere.

Abstract

Measurements were made of the profiles of mean wind velocity, of temperature, and of specific humidity in the unstable atmospheric boundary layer over macro-rough terrain; these data were obtained from radiosonde observations in a calibrated watershed of 3.2 km2 in the hilly Pre-Alps of Switzerland during the summer of 1982. The regional evaporation was reasonably well correlated (R = 0.7) with these profile measurements through a logarithmic height dependency between roughly 2h0 (where h0 ≈ 100 m is the mean height of the roughness obstacles) and 0.6h (where h is the height of the boundary layer above the mean valley level). The shapes of the profiles appear to be essentially independent of the Monin–Obukhov parameter (zd0)/L, but they display a dependency on the wind shear aloft and on the value of (z0/h) (where z0 is the roughness height). Over this rugged surface the relative importance of mechanical turbulence, as compared to convective turbulence, is larger than over terrain with smaller (z0/h) for the same degree of instability of the atmosphere.

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