LAND SURFACE-ATMOSPHERE INTERACTIONS IN REGIONAL MODELING OVER SOUTH AMERICA
land data assimilation
land surface atmosphere interactions
AdvisorShuttleworth, William James
Committee ChairShuttleworth, William James
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractLand surface processes play an important role when modeling weather and climate, and understanding and representing such processes in South America is a particular challenge because of the large variations in regional climate and surface features such as vegetation and soil. Numerical models have been used to explore the climate and weather of continental South America, but without appropriate initiation of land surface conditions model simulations can rapidly diverge from reality. This initiation problem is exacerbated by the fact that conventional surface observations over South America are scarce and biased towards the urban centers and coastal areas. This dissertation explores issues related to the apt representation of land surface processes and their impacts in numerical simulations with a regional atmospheric model (specifically the Eta model) over South America. The impacts of vegetation heterogeneity in regional weather forecast were first investigated. A South American Land Data Assimilation System (SALDAS) was then created analogous to that currently used in North America to estimate soil moisture fields for initializing regional atmospheric models. The land surface model (LSM) used in this SALDAS is the Simplified Simple Biosphere (SSiB). Precipitation fields are critical when calculating soil moisture and, because conventional surface observations are scarce in South America, some of the most important remote sensed precipitation products were evaluated as potential precipitation forcing for the SALDAS. Spin up states for SSiB where then compared with climatological estimates of land surface fields and significant differences found. Finally, an assessment was made of the value of SALDAS-derived soil moisture fields on Eta model forecasts. The primary result was that model performance is enhanced over the entire continent in up to 72h forecasts using SALDAS surface fields