The Namib Turbulence Experiment: Investigating Surface-Atmosphere Heat Transfer in Three Dimensions

Hilland, Rainer V. J. and Bernhofer, Christian and Bohmann, May and Christen, Andreas and Katurji, Marwan and Maggs-Kölling, Gillian and Krauß, Matthias and Larsen, Jarl A. and Marais, Eugene and Pitacco, Andrea and Schumacher, Benjamin and Spirig, Robert and Vendrame, Nadia and Vogt, Roland. (2022) The Namib Turbulence Experiment: Investigating Surface-Atmosphere Heat Transfer in Three Dimensions. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 103 (3). E741 - E760.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/91769/

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The Namib Turbulence Experiment (NamTEX) was a multinational micrometeorological campaign conducted in the central Namib Desert to investigate three-dimensional surface layer turbulence and the spatiotemporal patterns of heat transfer between the subsurface, surface, and atmosphere. The Namib provides an ideal location for fundamental research that revisits some key assumptions in micrometeorology that are implicitly included in the parameterizations describing energy exchange in weather forecasting and climate models: homogenous flat surfaces, no vegetation, little moisture, and cloud-free skies create a strong and consistent diurnal forcing, resulting in a wide range of atmospheric stabilities. A novel combination of instruments was used to simultaneously measure variables and processes relevant to heat transfer: a 3-km fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (DTS) was suspended in a pseudo-three-dimensional array within a 300 m x 300 m domain to provide vertical cross sections of air temperature fluctuations. Aerial and ground-based thermal imagers recorded high-resolution surface temperature fluctuations within the domain and revealed the spatial thermal imprint of atmospheric structures responsible for heat exchange. High-resolution soil temperature and moisture profiles together with heat flux plates provided information on near-surface soil dynamics. Turbulent heat exchange was measured with a vertical array of five eddy-covariance point measurements on a 21-m mast, as well as by collocated small- and large-aperture scintillometers. This contribution first details the scientific goals and experimental setup of the NamTEX campaign. Then, using a typical day, we demonstrate (i) the coupling of surface layer, surface, and soil temperatures using high-frequency temperature measurements, (ii) differences in spatial and temporal standard deviations of the horizontal temperature field using spatially distributed measurements, and (iii) horizontal anisotropy of the turbulent temperature field.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Atmospheric Sciences (Kalberer)
UniBasel Contributors:Vogt, Roland
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Meteorological Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:16 Jan 2023 07:58
Deposited On:16 Jan 2023 07:58

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