Empirical Modeling of Planetary Boundary Layer Dynamics Under Multiple Precipitation Scenarios Using a Two-Layer Soil Moisture Approach: An Example From a Semiarid Shrubland
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm
land surface-atmosphere interactions
Santa Rita Experimental Range
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherAMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION
CitationEmpirical Modeling of Planetary Boundary Layer Dynamics Under Multiple Precipitation Scenarios Using a Two-Layer Soil Moisture Approach: An Example From a Semiarid Shrubland 2017, 53 (11):8807 Water Resources Research
JournalWater Resources Research
Rights© 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractIn semiarid regions, where water resources are limited and precipitation dynamics are changing, understanding land surface-atmosphere interactions that regulate the coupled soil moisture-precipitation system is key for resource management and planning. We present a modeling approach to study soil moisture and albedo controls on planetary boundary layer height (PBLh). We used Santa Rita Creosote Ameriflux and Tucson Airport atmospheric sounding data to generate empirical relationships between soil moisture, albedo, and PBLh. Empirical relationships showed that similar to 50% of the variation in PBLh can be explained by soil moisture and albedo with additional knowledge gained by dividing the soil profile into two layers. Therefore, we coupled these empirical relationships with soil moisture estimated using a two-layer bucket approach to model PBLh under six precipitation scenarios. Overall we observed that decreases in precipitation tend to limit the recovery of the PBL at the end of the wet season. However, increases in winter precipitation despite decreases in summer precipitation may provide opportunities for positive feedbacks that may further generate more winter precipitation. Our results highlight that the response of soil moisture, albedo, and the PBLh will depend not only on changes in annual precipitation, but also on the frequency and intensity of this change. We argue that because albedo and soil moisture data are readily available at multiple temporal and spatial scales, developing empirical relationships that can be used in land surface-atmosphere applications have great potential for exploring the consequences of climate change.
Note6 month embargo; published online: 10 November 2017
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsUniversity of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS); Arizona University System Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF); University of Arizona Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR); SAHRA (Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian area) under the STC Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF), NSF CAREER [EAR-1255013]; UA Springfield Scholarship for Graduate Research in Rangelands; UA William A. Calder III PhD Scholarship for Mexican graduate students focused in conservation; UA Kel M. Fox Watershed Scholarship