Advertisement

Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 169, Issue 5–6, pp 847–857 | Cite as

A Method for Direct Assessment of the “Non Rainfall” Atmospheric Water Cycle: Input and Evaporation From the Soil

  • Kudzai Farai Kaseke
  • Anthony J. Mills
  • Roger Brown
  • Karen J. Esler
  • Johannes. R. Henschel
  • Mary K. Seely
Article

Abstract

“Non rainfall” atmospheric water (dew, fog, vapour adsorption) supplies a small amount of water to the soil surface that may be important for arid soil micro-hydrology and ecology. Research into the direct effects of this water on soil is, however, lacking due to instrument and technical constraints. We report on the design, development, construction and findings of an automated microlysimeter instrument to directly measure this soil water cycle in Stellenbosch, South Africa during winter. Performance of the microlysimeter was satisfactory and results obtained were compared to literature and fell within the expected range. “Non rainfall” atmospheric water input into bare soil (river sand) was between 0.88 and 1.10 mm per night while evaporation was between 1.39 and 2.71 mm per day. The study also attempted to differentiate the composition of “non rainfall” atmospheric water and results showed that vapour adsorption contributed the bulk of this input.

Keywords

“Non rainfall” atmospheric water dew vapour adsorption microlysimeter 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was financially supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF). The authors would also like to thank Dr. J. Irish and Prof M. Fey for their input and Glen Newins and Brian Mulder for construction and development of the equipment.

References

  1. Agam, A., and Berliner, P.R. (2004), Diurnal water content changes in the bare soil of a coastal desert, J. Hydrometeorol. 5, 922-933.Google Scholar
  2. Agam, A., and Berliner, P. R. (2006), Dew formation and water vapour adsorption in semi arid environmentsA review, J. Arid Environ. 65, 572-590.Google Scholar
  3. Ashbel, D. (1949), Frequency and Distribution of Dew in Palestine, Geographical Review, 39, 291-297.Google Scholar
  4. Awanou, C.N. and Hazoume, R.P. (1997), Study of natural condensation of atmospheric humidity, Renewable Energy, 10, 19-34.Google Scholar
  5. Aydin, M., Yang, S., Kurt, N., and Yano, T. (2005), Test of a simple model for estimating evaporation from bare soils in different environments, Ecol. Modelling, 182, 91-105.Google Scholar
  6. Berry, F. A., Handbook of meteorology, (McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1945).Google Scholar
  7. Beysens, D. (1995), The formation of dew, Atmos. Res. 39, 215-237.Google Scholar
  8. Berkowicz, S.M., Heusinkveld, B.G., and Jacobs, A.F.J. (2001), Dew in arid ecosystem: ecological aspects and problems in dew measurement, Proceedings, 2nd International Conference on Fog and Fog Collection, 301-304.Google Scholar
  9. Boast, C.W., and Robertson, T.M. (1982), A “microlysimeter” method for determining evaporation from bare-soil: description and laboratory evaluation, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 46, 689-696.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, R., Mills, A.J., and Jack, C. (2008), Non-rainfall moisture inputs in the Knersvlakte: Methodology and preliminary findings, Water SA. 34, 275-278.Google Scholar
  11. Daamen, C.C., Simmonds, L.P., Wallace, J.S., Laryeak, B., and Sivakumar, M.V. (1993). Use of microlysimeters to measure evaporation from sandy soil, Agric. and Forest Meteorol. 65, 159-173.Google Scholar
  12. Danalatos, N.G., Kosmas.,C.S., Moustakas, N.C., and Yassoglou. N. (1995), Rock fragments II. Their impact on soil physical properties and biomass production under Mediterranean conditions, Soil Use Mgt. 11, 121-126.Google Scholar
  13. Evett, S.R., Warrick, A.W., and Matthias, A.D. (1995), Wall material and capping effects on microlysimeter temperatures and evaporation, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 59, 329-336.Google Scholar
  14. Francis, M., Fey, M., Prinsloo, H., Ellis, F., Mills, A., and Medinski, T. (2007), Soils of Namaqualand: Compensations of aridity, J. Arid Environ. 70, 588-603.Google Scholar
  15. Heusinkveld, B.G., Berkowicz, S.M., Jacobs, A.F.G., Holstag, A.M. and Hillen, W.C. (2006), An automated microlysimeter to study dew formation and evaporation in arid and semi arid regions, J. Hydrometeol. 7, 825-832.Google Scholar
  16. Hillel, D., Environmental Soil Physics (Academic Press, San Diego, USA, 1998).Google Scholar
  17. Jacobs, A.F.G., Heusinkveld, B.G., and Berkowicz, S.M. (1999), Dew deposition and drying in a desert system: a simple simulation model, J. Arid Environ. 42, 211-222.Google Scholar
  18. Jacobs, A.F.G., Heusinkveld, B.G., and Berkowicz, S.M. (2002). A simple model for potential dewfall in an arid region, Atmos. Res. 64, 285-295.Google Scholar
  19. Kidron, G.J. (2000). Analysis of dew precipitation in three habitats within a small arid drainage basin, Negev Highlands, Israel, Atmos. Res., 55, 257-270.Google Scholar
  20. Li, X.Y. (2002), Effects of gravel and sand mulches on dew deposition in the semiarid region of China, J. Hydrol. 260, 151-160.Google Scholar
  21. Malek, E., McCurdy, G., and Giles, G. (1999), Dew contribution to the to the annual water balances in semi-arid desert valleys, J. Arid Environ. 42, 71-80.Google Scholar
  22. Monteith, J., Unsworth, M., Principles of environmental physics (Routledge New York, USA, 1990)Google Scholar
  23. Ninari, N., and Berliner, P.R. (2002), The role of dew in the water and heat balance of bare loess soil in the Negev desert: quantifying the actual dew deposition on the soil, Atmos. Res. 64, 323-334.Google Scholar
  24. Noffsinger, T.L. Survey techniques of measuring dew. In Humidity and Moisture, 2 (ed. Wexler. A..) (Reinhold, New York, 1965).Google Scholar
  25. Sharan, G., Beysens, D., and Milimouk-Melnytchouk, I. (2007), A study of dew water yields on galvanised iron roofs in Kothara (north-west India), J. Arid Environ, 69, 259-269.Google Scholar
  26. Schemenauer, R.S., and Cereceda, P. (1994), Fog collection’s role in water planning for developing countries, Natural Resources Forum, 18, 91-100.Google Scholar
  27. Scott, D. (1962), An instrument measuring dew deposition, Ecology, 43, 341-342.Google Scholar
  28. Stone, E.C. (1963), The ecological importance of dew, The Quarterly Review of Biology, 38, 328-341.Google Scholar
  29. Storlie, C.A., and Eck, P. (1996), Lysimeter-based crop efficient for young highbush blueberries, Horticultural Sci. 31, 819-822.Google Scholar
  30. Walker, G.K. (1983). Measurement of evaporation from soil beneath crop canopies, Can. J. Soil Sci. 63, 137-141.Google Scholar
  31. Whitford, W.G., Ecology of desert systems. (Elsevier Science Ltd., 2002)Google Scholar
  32. Zangvil, A. (1996), Six years of dew observation in the Negev Desert, Israel, J. Arid Environ, 32, 361-372.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kudzai Farai Kaseke
    • 1
    • 4
    • 6
  • Anthony J. Mills
    • 2
  • Roger Brown
    • 3
  • Karen J. Esler
    • 1
  • Johannes. R. Henschel
    • 4
  • Mary K. Seely
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Conservation Ecology and EntomologyStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Soil ScienceStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa
  3. 3.Climate Analysis Systems GroupUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  4. 4.Gobabeb Research CentreWalvis BayNamibia
  5. 5.Desert Research Foundation of NamibiaWindhoekNamibia
  6. 6.ChitungwizaZimbabwe

Personalised recommendations