Articles | Volume 14, issue 12
Research article
22 Dec 2010
Research article |  | 22 Dec 2010

The impact of in-canopy wind profile formulations on heat flux estimation in an open orchard using the remote sensing-based two-source model

C. Cammalleri, M. C. Anderson, G. Ciraolo, G. D'Urso, W. P. Kustas, G. La Loggia, and M. Minacapilli

Abstract. For open orchard and vineyard canopies containing significant fractions of exposed soil (>50%), typical of Mediterranean agricultural regions, the energy balance of the vegetation elements is strongly influenced by heat exchange with the bare soil/substrate. For these agricultural systems a "two-source" approach, where radiation and turbulent exchange between the soil and canopy elements are explicitly modelled, appears to be the only suitable methodology for reliably assessing energy fluxes. In strongly clumped canopies, the effective wind speed profile inside and below the canopy layer can strongly influence the partitioning of energy fluxes between the soil and vegetation components. To assess the impact of in-canopy wind profile on model flux estimates, an analysis of three different formulations is presented, including algorithms from Goudriaan (1977), Massman (1987) and Lalic et al. (2003). The in-canopy wind profile formulations are applied to the thermal-based two-source energy balance (TSEB) model developed by Norman et al. (1995) and modified by Kustas and Norman (1999). High resolution airborne remote sensing images, collected over an agricultural area located in the western part of Sicily (Italy) comprised primarily of vineyards, olive and citrus orchards, are used to derive all the input parameters needed to apply the TSEB. The images were acquired from June to October 2008 and include a relatively wide range of meteorological and soil moisture conditions. A preliminary sensitivity analysis of the three wind profile algorithms highlights the dependence of wind speed just above the soil/substrate to leaf area index and canopy height over the typical range of canopy properties encountered in these agricultural areas. It is found that differences among the models in wind just above the soil surface are most significant under sparse and medium fractional cover conditions (15–50%). The TSEB model heat flux estimates are compared with micro-meteorological measurements from a small aperture scintillometer and an eddy covariance tower collected over an olive orchard characterized by moderate fractional vegetation cover (≈35%) and relatively tall crop (≈3.5 m). TSEB fluxes for the 7 image acquisition dates generated using both the Massman and Goudriaan in-canopy wind profile formulations give close agreement with measured fluxes, while the Lalic et al. equations yield poor results. The Massman wind profile scheme slightly outperforms that of Goudriaan, but it requires an additional parameter accounting for the roughness sub-layer of the underlying vegetative surface. The analysis also suggests that within-canopy wind profile model discrepancies become important, in terms of impact on modelled sensible heat flux, only for sparse canopies with moderate vegetation coverage.