Estimating Regional Fluxes of Evapotranspiration and Sensible Heat from Measurements of the Planetary Boundary Layer
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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This thesis estimated regional fluxes of evapotranspiration and sensible heat using Planetary Boundary Layer Similarity Theory and a Conversation Equation Approach. Measurements were made of dry-bulb temperature, humidity, and pressure throughout the planetary boundary layer PBL using rawinsondes. The measurements were taken over the Konza Prarie Natural Research Area. Soundings of virtual potential temperature were plotted to determine the height of the PBL. The estimates of heat flux were compared to a set of nine surface measurements. Estimates using the Conservation Equation Approach fell within one standard deviation of the mean values in four of five cases. Estimates of sensible heat flux calculated using the PBL Similarity Theory were not very reasonable. Estimates were generally below the mean measured values. Evapotranspiration Flux estimates agreed better with the mean surface measurements for the PBL Similarity Theory using values at the top of the PBL when the quality of the soundings was good. Estimates were within one standard deviation for six of the fourteen soundings. Vertically averaged values performed better when the soundings were poor. The Conservation Equation Approach used yielded better agreement with the ground truth measurements for both evapotranspiration and sensible heat flux.