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J. Noilhan
S. Planton


A parameterization of land surface processes to be included in mesoscale and large-scale meteorological models is presented. The number of parameters has been reduced as much as possible, while attempting to preserve the representation of the physics which controls the energy and water budgets. We distinguish two main classes of parameters. The spatial distribution of primary parameters, i.e., the dominant types of soil and vegetation within each grid cell, can be specified from existing global datasets. The secondary parameters, describing the physical properties of each type of soil and vegetation, can be inferred from measurements or derived from numerical experiments. A single surface temperature is used to represent the surface energy balance of the land/cover system. The soil heat flux is linearly interpolated between its value over bare ground and a value of zero for complete shielding by the vegetation. The ground surface moisture equation includes the effect of gravity and the thermo-hydric coefficients of the equations have been either calculated or calibrated using textural dependent formulations. The calibration has been made using the results of a detailed soil model forced by prescribed atmospheric mean conditions. The results show that the coefficients of the surface soil moisture equation are greatly dependent upon the textural class of the soil, as well as upon its moisture content. The new scheme has been included in a one-dimensional model which allows a complete interaction between the surface and the atmosphere. Several simulations have been performed using data collected during HAPEX-MOBILHY. These first results show the ability of the parameterization to reproduce the components of the surface energy balance over a wide variety of surface conditions.

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