Canopy interception, the amount of precipitation captured by the surface of plants and trees, is a key component of the water cycle as it constrains the water flux to the ground below vegetation. Forests have especially high interception capacities and therefore the interception loss often forms a considerable part of the total evapotranspiration. The canopy interception capacity is dependent on the size and structure of the vegetation, and the interception loss can vary substantial in time and space. Measuring the canopy interception loss directly is challenging and current methodologies only represent small areas and rely on indirect approaches. Improving methods to estimate canopy interception loss directly will forward the basic understanding of how vegetation structure interacts with the water cycle and hence prediction of evapotranspiration. The intensity of low-energy neutrons produced by cosmic-rays, measured above the ground surface, is sensitive to the hydrogen content in the upper decimeters of the ground and hence the soil moisture content from a radius of hundreds of meters in the horizontal direction. In order to advance the cosmic-ray neutron (CRN) soil moisture method and extend the application of the CRN method more research has recently focused on the signal of other hydrogen pools on the neutron intensity (e.g., vegetation and canopy interception). A recent study, based on neutron transport modeling, found that the ground level thermal neutron intensity (energy < 1 eV), and as a consequence also the thermal-to-epithermal neutron (T/E) ratio (epithermal energy > 1 eV), increased with increasing canopy interception. In this study, we test whether CRN measurements can be used to provide a direct measure of the canopy interception. Four sets of CR2000/B systems were installed below the canopy in an oak forest stand in Denmark. Each system holds a bare (primarily measuring thermal neutrons) and a moderated detector (primarily measuring epithermal neutrons). The measured T/E ratios are compared to independent canopy interception measurements, obtained from throughfall and precipitation measurements. Furthermore, T/E ratios are related to measurements from leaf wetness sensors, CRN soil moisture estimates, and the biomass density in the canopy derived from a mobile terrestrial laser scanner.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2017
- 1848 Monitoring networks;
- 1855 Remote sensing;
- 1894 Instruments and techniques: modeling;
- 1895 Instruments and techniques: monitoring;