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Effects of Land Use and Meteorological Conditions on Local and Regional Momentum Transport and Roughness for Midwestern Cropping Systems

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  • 1 Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Maryland
  • | 2 National Soil Tilth Laboratory, ARS, USDA, Ames, Iowa
  • | 3 Institute for Aerospace Research, NRC, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • | 4 Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, ARS, USDA, Beltsville, Maryland
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Abstract

Eddy covariance measurements of wind speed u and shear velocity u* from tower- and aircraft-based systems collected over rapidly developing corn- (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] fields were used in determining the local and regional (effective) surface roughness length zo and 〈zo〉, respectively. For corn, canopy height increased from ∼1 to 2 m and the leaf area index changed from ∼1 to 4 during the study period, while for soybean, canopy height increased from ∼0.1 to 0.5 m and the leaf area index increased from ∼0.5 to 2. A procedure for the aggregation of local roughness values from the different land cover types based on blending-height concepts yielded effective surface roughness values that were from ∼1/2 to 1/4 of the magnitude estimated with the aircraft data. This indicated additional kinematic stress caused by form drag from isolated obstacles (i.e., trees, houses, and farm buildings), and the interaction of adjacent corn- and soybean fields were probably important factors influencing the effective surface roughness length for this landscape. The comparison of u* measurements from the towers versus the aircraft indicated that u* from aircraft was 20%–30% higher, on average, and that u* over corn was 10%–30% higher than over soybean, depending on stability. These results provide further evidence for the likely sources of additional kinematic stress. Although there was an increase in zo and 〈zo〉 over time as the crops rapidly developed, particularly for corn, there was a more significant trend of increasing roughness length with decreasing wind speed at wind speed thresholds of around 5 m s−1 for the aircraft and 3 m s−1 for the tower measurements. Other studies have recently reported such a trend. The impact on computed sensible heat flux H using 〈zo〉 derived from the aggregation of zo from the different land cover types, using the blending-height scheme, and that estimated from the aircraft observations, was evaluated using a calibrated single-source/bulk resistance approach with surface–air temperature differences from the aircraft observations. An underestimate of 〈zo〉 by 50% and 75% resulted in a bias in the H estimates of approximately 10% and 15%, respectively. This is a relatively minor error when considering that the root-mean-square error (rmse) value between single-source estimates and the aircraft observations of H was 15 W m−2 using the aircraft-derived 〈zo〉, and only increased to approximately 20 and 25 W m−2 using the 1/2 and 1/4 〈zo〉 values, as estimated from the blending-height scheme. The magnitude of the excess resistance relative to the aerodynamic resistance to heat transfer was a major contributing factor in minimizing the error in heat flux calculations resulting from these underestimations of 〈zo〉.

Corresponding author address: William P. Kustas, USDA-ARS, Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab, Bldg. 007, BARC-WEST, Beltsville, MD 20705. Email: bkustas@hydrolab.arsusda.gov

Abstract

Eddy covariance measurements of wind speed u and shear velocity u* from tower- and aircraft-based systems collected over rapidly developing corn- (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] fields were used in determining the local and regional (effective) surface roughness length zo and 〈zo〉, respectively. For corn, canopy height increased from ∼1 to 2 m and the leaf area index changed from ∼1 to 4 during the study period, while for soybean, canopy height increased from ∼0.1 to 0.5 m and the leaf area index increased from ∼0.5 to 2. A procedure for the aggregation of local roughness values from the different land cover types based on blending-height concepts yielded effective surface roughness values that were from ∼1/2 to 1/4 of the magnitude estimated with the aircraft data. This indicated additional kinematic stress caused by form drag from isolated obstacles (i.e., trees, houses, and farm buildings), and the interaction of adjacent corn- and soybean fields were probably important factors influencing the effective surface roughness length for this landscape. The comparison of u* measurements from the towers versus the aircraft indicated that u* from aircraft was 20%–30% higher, on average, and that u* over corn was 10%–30% higher than over soybean, depending on stability. These results provide further evidence for the likely sources of additional kinematic stress. Although there was an increase in zo and 〈zo〉 over time as the crops rapidly developed, particularly for corn, there was a more significant trend of increasing roughness length with decreasing wind speed at wind speed thresholds of around 5 m s−1 for the aircraft and 3 m s−1 for the tower measurements. Other studies have recently reported such a trend. The impact on computed sensible heat flux H using 〈zo〉 derived from the aggregation of zo from the different land cover types, using the blending-height scheme, and that estimated from the aircraft observations, was evaluated using a calibrated single-source/bulk resistance approach with surface–air temperature differences from the aircraft observations. An underestimate of 〈zo〉 by 50% and 75% resulted in a bias in the H estimates of approximately 10% and 15%, respectively. This is a relatively minor error when considering that the root-mean-square error (rmse) value between single-source estimates and the aircraft observations of H was 15 W m−2 using the aircraft-derived 〈zo〉, and only increased to approximately 20 and 25 W m−2 using the 1/2 and 1/4 〈zo〉 values, as estimated from the blending-height scheme. The magnitude of the excess resistance relative to the aerodynamic resistance to heat transfer was a major contributing factor in minimizing the error in heat flux calculations resulting from these underestimations of 〈zo〉.

Corresponding author address: William P. Kustas, USDA-ARS, Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab, Bldg. 007, BARC-WEST, Beltsville, MD 20705. Email: bkustas@hydrolab.arsusda.gov

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