Articles | Volume 14, issue 8
06 Aug 2010
 | 06 Aug 2010

Analysis of the energy balance closure over a FLUXNET boreal forest in Finland

J. M. Sánchez, V. Caselles, and E. M. Rubio

Abstract. The imbalance in the surface energy budget, when using eddy-covariance techniques to measure turbulent fluxes, is still an unresolved problem. Important progresses have been reported in recent years identifying potential reasons for this lack of energy balance closure. In this paper we focus on the data collected in a FLUXNET boreal forest site in Sodankylä, Finland. Using one month half-hourly data, an average Energy Balance Ratio (EBR) of 0.72 is obtained. The inclusion of the heat storage terms in the energy budget yields an improvement of about 6% in the total closure. The sensitivity of the energy balance closure to the turbulence intensity is analysed in terms of the friction velocity, and atmospheric stability/instability conditions. Significant better closure is obtained for high values of the friction velocity and unstable conditions. The mismatch in variable footprints for different fluxes is checked by analysing the dependence of the closure on wind direction. The inhomogeneities of the emplacement surrounding the flux tower induce a critical decrease in the EBR of up to 30% for specific wind directions. After filtering all unfavourable conditions, EBR=0.94. This is a reasonable good result for the energy balance closure. However there is still a 6% of the available energy unaccounted. Part of this remaining imbalance could be justified as the impossibility of the 30 min averaging time to capture the low frequency flux contributions, since the closure is improved by a 5% when the averaging time is expanded to 2 h.