Articles | Volume 13, issue 7
07 Jul 2009
 | 07 Jul 2009

Seasonal and diurnal variations in moisture, heat and CO2 fluxes over a typical steppe prairie in Inner Mongolia, China

Z. Gao, D. H. Lenschow, Z. He, and M. Zhou

Abstract. In order to examine energy partitioning and CO2 exchange over a steppe prairie in Inner Mongolia, China, fluxes of moisture, heat and CO2 in the surface layer from June 2007 through June 2008 were calculated using the eddy covariance method. The study site was homogenous and approximately 1500 m×1500 m in size. Seasonal and diurnal variations in radiation components, energy components and CO2 fluxes are examined. Results show that all four radiation components changed seasonally, resulting in a seasonal variation in net radiation. The radiation components also changed diurnally. Winter surface albedo was higher than summer surface albedo because during winter the snow-covered surface increased the surface albedo. The seasonal variations in both sensible heat and CO2 fluxes were stronger than those of latent heat and soil heat fluxes. Sensible heat flux was the main consumer of available energy for the entire experimental period. The energy imbalance problem was encountered and the causes are analyzed.