, Volume 121, Issue 1, pp 195-220
Date: 04 Oct 2006

Simulation of surface energy fluxes using high-resolution non-hydrostatic simulations and comparisons with measurements for the LITFASS-2003 experiment

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Land-surface heterogeneity effects on the subgrid scale of regional climate and numerical weather prediction models are of vital interest for the energy and mass exchange between the surface and the atmospheric boundary layer. High-resolution numerical model simulations can be used to quantify these effects, and are a tool used to obtain area-averaged surface fluxes over heterogeneous land surfaces. We present high-resolution model simulations for the LITFASS area near Berlin during the LITFASS-2003 experiment, which were carried out using the non-hydrostatic model FOOT3DK of the University of Köln with horizontal resolutions of 1 km and 250 m. The LITFASS-2003 experimental dataset is used for comparison. The screen level quantities show good quality for the simulated pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed and direction. Averaged over the four week experimental period, simulated surface energy fluxes at land stations show a small bias for the turbulent heat fluxes and an underestimation of the net radiation caused by excessive cloudiness in the simulations. For eight selected days with low cloud amounts, the net radiation bias is close to zero, but the sensible heat flux shows a strong positive bias. Large differences are found for latent heat fluxes over a lake, which are partly due to local effects on the measurements, but an additional problem seems to be the overestimation of the turbulent exchange under stable conditions in the daytime internal boundary layer over the lake. In the area average over the LITFASS area of 20 ×  20 km2, again a strong positive bias of 70 W m−2 for the sensible heat is present. For the low soil moisture conditions during June 2003, the simulation of the turbulent heat fluxes is sensitive to variations in the soil type and its hydrological properties. Under these conditions, the supply of ground water to the lowest soil layer should be accounted for. Different area-averaging methods are tested. The experimental set-up of the LITFASS-2003 experiment is found to be well suited for the computation of area-averaged turbulent heat fluxes.