Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 109–136

Intra-field variability of scalar flux densities across a transition between a desert and an irrigated potato field

  • Dennis D. Baldocchi
  • K. Shankar Rao

DOI: 10.1007/BF00710893

Cite this article as:
Baldocchi, D.D. & Rao, K.S. Boundary-Layer Meteorol (1995) 76: 109. doi:10.1007/BF00710893


This paper reports on measurements of sensible and latent heat and CO2 fluxes made over an irrigated potato field, growing next to a patch of desert. The study was conducted using two eddy correlation systems. One measurement system was located within the equilibrium boundary layer 800 m downwind from the edge of the potato field. The other measurement system was mobile and was placed at various downwind positions to probe the horizontal transition of vertical scalar fluxes. Latent (LE) and sensible (H) heat fluxes, measured at 4 m above the surface, exhibited marked variations with downwind distance over the field. Only after the fetch to height ratio exceeded 75 to 1 didLE andH become invariant with downwind distance. When latent and sensible heat fluxes were measured upwind of this threshold, significant advection of humidity-deficit occurred, causing a vertical flux divergence ofH andLE.

The measured fluxes of momentum, heat, and moisture were compared with predictions from a second-order closure two-dimensional atmospheric boundary layer model. There is good agreement between measurements and model predictions. A soil-plant-atmosphere model was used to examine nonlinear feedbacks between humidity-deficits, stomatal conductance and evaporation. Data interpretation with this model revealed that the advection of hot dry air did not enhance surface evaporation rates near the upwind edge of the potato field, because of negative feedbacks among stomatal conductance, humidity-deficits, andLE. This finding is consistent with results from several recent studies.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis D. Baldocchi
    • 1
  • K. Shankar Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion DivisionNOAA/ARLOak RidgeU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations