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Margaret A. LeMone, Fei Chen, Joseph G. Alfieri, Richard H. Cuenca, Yutaka Hagimoto, Peter Blanken, Dev Niyogi, Songlak Kang, Kenneth Davis, and Robert L. Grossman

The May–June 2002 International H2O Project was held in the U.S. Southern Great Plains to determine ways that moisture data could be collected and utilized in numerical forecast models most effectively. We describe the surface and boundary layer components, and indicate how the data can be acquired. These data document the eddy transport of heat and water vapor from the surface to the atmosphere (in terms of sensible heat flux H and latent heat flux LE), as well as radiative, atmospheric, soil, and vegetative factors that affect it, so that the moisture and heat supply to the atmosphere can be related to surface properties both for observational studies and tests of land surface models. The surface dataset was collected at 10 surface flux towers at locations representing the major types of land cover and extending from southeast Kansas to the Oklahoma Panhandle. At each location, the components of the surface energy budget (H, LE, net radiation, and soil heat flux) are documented each half-hour, along with the weather (wind, temperature, mixing ratio, air pressure, and precipitation), soil temperature, moisture, and matric potential down to 70–90 cm beneath the surface at 9 of the 10 sites. Observations of soil and vegetation properties and their horizontal changes were taken near all 10 towers during periodic visits. Aircraft measurements of H and LE from repeated low-level flight tracks along three tracks collocated with the surface sites extend the flux tower measurements horizontally. We illustrate the effects of vegetation and soil moisture on the H and LE and their horizontal variability.

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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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