Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Diagnosing the diurnal surface energy balance over the summer tundra at Princess Marie Bay from simple short-period measurements

  • 35 Accesses

  • 2 Citations


Using existing physical parameterizations, a new mathematical model is formulated to diagnose the diurnal variation of the energy fluxes and temperature on the snow-free tundra surface at Princess Marie Bay, Ellesmere Island, Canada. The input to the model consists of three meteorological variables which can be readily measured by an automatic weather station: incoming short-wave radiation, windspeed and screen level temperature. The model is based on the one-dimensional heat conduction equation for unfrozen soil, with surface heat exchange by short- and long-wave radiation and by convection and evaporation. A permafrost surface is used as a lower boundary condition. The model is formulated and tuned using a series of data from the Princess Marie Bay site. It is then tested using a separate data set from the same site and an independent data set from a nearby site.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Budyko, M. I., 1974:Climate and Life. New York; Academic Press.

  2. Brutsaert, W., 1982:Evaporation into the Atmosphere: Theory, History and Applications. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.

  3. Desrosiers, J., 1991:Growth Response Patterns of Saxifraga oppositifolia L. along a soil Moisture Gradient in the Canadian High Arctic. Unpublished M.Sc. thesis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 120p.

  4. Gjessing, Y. T., Ovstedal, D. O., 1975: Energy budget and ecology of two vegetation types in Svalbard.J. Arctic Ecology 8 (2), 83–92.

  5. Idso, S. B., Jackson, R. D., 1969: Thermal radiation from the atmosphere.J. Geophys. Res. 74 (23), 5397–5403.

  6. Lewis, M. C., Callaghan, T. V., 1976: Tundra. In: Monteith, J. L., (eds.)Vegetation and the Atmosphere, vol. 2. New York: Academic Press.

  7. Liou, K.-N., 1980:An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation. New York: Academic Press.

  8. List, R. J., 1963:Smithsonian Meteorological Tables 6th edn. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.

  9. Ohmura, A., 1982: Climate and energy balance on the arctic tundra.J. Climatology 2, 65–84.

  10. Ohmura, A., 1984: On the cause of ‘Fram’ type seasonal change in diurnal amplitude of air temperature in polar regions.J. Climatology 4, 325–338.

  11. Oke, T. R., 1978:Boundary Layer Climates. London, New York: Methuen.

  12. Serreze, M. C., Bradley, R. S., 1987: Radiation and cloud observations on a high arctic plateau ice cap.J. Glaciology 33 (114), 162–168.

  13. Weller, G., Bowling, S. A., 1973: Climate of the Arctic.Twenty-Fourth Alaska Science Conference, Fairbanks, Alaska. Published by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska.

  14. Weller, G., Holmgren, B., 1975: The microclimates of the arctic tundra.J. Appl. Meteorol. 13, 854–862.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

With 10 Figures

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Szilder, K., Henry, G.H.R., Lozowski, E.P. et al. Diagnosing the diurnal surface energy balance over the summer tundra at Princess Marie Bay from simple short-period measurements. Theor Appl Climatol 54, 201–211 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00865162

Download citation


  • Heat Exchange
  • Heat Conduction Equation
  • Automatic Weather Station
  • Surface Energy Balance
  • Lower Boundary Condition