The Impact of Vegetation on the Atmospheric Boundary Layer and Convective Storms
The impact of vegetation on atmospheric boundary layer and convective storms is examined through the construction and testing of a soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer (SVAT) model. The Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere (LEAF) model is developed using an elevated canopy structure, an above -canopy aerodynamic resistance, two in-canopy aerodynamic resistances, and one stomatal conductance functions. The air temperature and humidity are assumed to be constant in the canopy whereas the wind and radiation follow a specified vertical profile. A simple dump-bucket method is used to parameterize the interception of precipitation and a multi-layer soil model is utilized to handle the vertical transfer of soil water. Evaporation from soil and wet leaves and transpiration from dry leaves are evaluated separately. The solid water uptake is based on soil water potential rather than on the length of roots. Separate energy budgets for vegetation and for the soil are used in order to remove unnecessary assumptions on energy partition between the vegetation and the substrate. Primary parameters are LAI, maximum stomatal conductance, and albedo. Secondary parameters include displacement height and environmental controls on stomatal resistance function. Due to the complexity of the LEAF model, statistical methods are used to improve LEAF model performance. The Multi-response Randomized Bock Permutation (MRBP) procedure is used to guide the choice of model parameter values. The Fourier Amplitude Sensitivity Test (FAST) is applied to better understand the model behavior in response to the changes in model parameters. Finally, LEAF is used to study the growth of boundary layer and the local thermal circulations generated by surface inhomogeneities. Results show the atmospheric boundary layer is substantially cooler and more moist over unstressed vegetation than over bare dry soil. Thermally forced circulation can result from the juxtaposition of two vegetation types due to different biophysical characteristics. Results from three-dimensional simulations show that the surface spatial heterogeneities made by vegetation play an important role in generating local convective storms.
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- Physics: Atmospheric Science; Hydrology; Biology: Ecology