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Bruce B. Hicks

The meteorological situation of coastal regions is strongly influenced by the shoreline and by topographic relief. In this instance, we have learned how to take water and land influences into account when predicting changes in meteorology. But we have now stepped beyond the standard meteorological view of coasts affecting air through their complexity, to a new awareness that deposition from the air affects the coastal environment. It is along the coasts that the terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric media come into most intimate contact, and where any one of them can affect any other. The importance of the interaction is becoming even more apparent as the population of coastal areas continues to grow, and as demands for energy, food, and recreation are growing even faster. The interactions among the terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric media are central in considerations of what must be done to protect an increasingly stressed coastal environment from what could soon be irreversible damage. To generate the understanding necessary to underpin regulations and emissions control strategies, accurate models of pollutant behavior in all of the media must be constructed, and these must then be integrated to protect against the imposition of ineffective controls. The challenges for the atmospheric sciences are daunting. Not only must atmospheric deposition become a focus of attention, but mesoscale models must be constructed to provide the spatial information that existing coarse monitoring networks are incapable of providing alone.

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Margaret A. LeMone, Robert L. Grossman, Richard L. Coulter, Marvin L. Wesley, Gerard E. Klazura, Gregory S. PouIos, William Blumen, Julie K. Lundquist, Richard H. Cuenca, Shaun F. Kelly, Edward A. Brandes, Steven P. Oncley, Robert T. McMillen, and Bruce B. Hicks

This paper describes the development of the Cooperative Atmosphere Surface Exchange Study (CASES), its synergism with the development of the Atmosphere Boundary Layer Experiments (ABLE) and related efforts, CASES field programs, some early results, and future plans and opportunities. CASES is a grassroots multidisciplinary effort to study the interaction of the lower atmosphere with the land surface, the subsurface, and vegetation over timescales ranging from nearly instantaneous to years. CASES scientists developed a consensus that observations should be taken in a watershed between 50 and 100 km across; practical considerations led to an approach combining long-term data collection with episodic intensive field campaigns addressing specific objectives that should always include improvement of the design of the long-term instrumentation. In 1997, long-term measurements were initiated in the Walnut River Watershed east of Wichita, Kansas. Argonne National Laboratory started setting up the ABLE array. The first of the long-term hydrological enhancements was installed starting in May by the Hydrologic Science Team of Oregon State University. CASES-97, the first episodic field effort, was held during April–June to study the role of surface processes in the diurnal variation of the boundary layer, to test radar precipitation algorithms, and to define relevant scaling for precipitation and soil properties. The second episodic experiment, CASES-99, was conducted during October 1999, and focused on the stable boundary layer. Enhancements to both the atmospheric and hydrological arrays continue. The data from and information regarding both the long-term and episodic experiments are available on the World Wide Web. Scientists are invited to use the data and to consider the Walnut River Watershed for future field programs.

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