Environmental Geology

, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 963–972 | Cite as

Analysis of an oasis microclimate in China’s hyperarid zone

  • Qi Feng
  • Zhuo Macuo
  • Xi Haiyang
Original Article


The microclimate of a desert oasis in China’s hyperarid zone was monitored, analysed and compared to that of nearby forested lands. Factors associated with differences in photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) between clear, cloudy and dust storm days are discussed. Desert oases were shown to fulfill ecological functions such as altering solar radiation, adjusting near-ground and land surface temperatures, reducing temperature differences, lowering wind velocity, and increasing soil and atmospheric humidity. Total solar radiation within the oasis was roughly half that above the forest canopy. During the growing season, air temperatures in Populus euphratica Olivier and Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb. woodlands were, on average, 1.62 and 0.83°C lower, respectively, than that in surrounding woodlands. The greater the forest cover, the greater was the difference in temperature. Air temperature was higher at the upper storey than that at the lower storey of the community, i.e., air temperature increased with increasing height above the soil surface. During the growing season, relative humidity was higher in woodlands than in surrounding areas: relative humidity in P. euphratica and T. ramosissima woodlands were, on average, 8.5 and 4.2% higher, respectively, than that in the surrounding area. Mean wind velocity in the P. euphratica forest land was 0.33 m/s, 2.31 m/s lower than that in the surrounding area. On dust storm days PAR and total radiation, Q, were significantly lower than that on cloudy or clear days. Their ratio, η Q = PAR/Q, was larger and much more variable on dust storm days than that on clear or cloudy days.


Hyperarid zone Desert oasis Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) Microclimate 



This research was supported by a grant from National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (No. 40671010; 40725001, 40501012), the Key Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZCX2-XB2-04-02), National Key Technology R & D Program (No. 2007BAD46B01).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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