Articles | Volume 16, issue 10
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 3729–3738, 2012

Special issue: Water, climate, and vegetation: ecohydrology in a changing...

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 3729–3738, 2012

Research article 22 Oct 2012

Research article | 22 Oct 2012

Impacts of inhomogeneous landscapes in oasis interior on the oasis self-maintenance mechanism by integrating numerical model with satellite data

X. Meng, S. Lu, T. Zhang, Y. Ao, S. Li, Y. Bao, L. Wen, and S. Luo X. Meng et al.
  • Key laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Science, 320 Donggang West Road, 730000 Lanzhou, Gansu, China

Abstract. The impacts of inhomogeneity of the oasis interior on the oasis self-maintenance mechanism are investigated by using the mesoscale model MM5 (the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) mesoscale model) with satellite observations of land use types, vegetation fraction and surface-layer soil moisture from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. Four simulations were performed, among which the CTL (control simulation) and MOD (moderated simulation with parameters replaced by MODIS data) were used to validate the model results; EXP1 (experiment 1) and EXP2 (experiment 2) were designed to study the inhomogeneity of oasis interior. Results show that the changes of oasis heterogeneity influence the surface heat-flux partitioning, which leads to a larger "cold-wet" effect over the oasis. Vertical sections of humidity illustrate the existence of a moisture-inversion level, and the deeper moisture inversion of EXP1 and EXP2 further indicates that the relative homogeneity in the oasis interior helps produce stronger humidity inversion over the oasis, thus limiting evaporation. This is further verified by the analysis of the secondary circulation, which shows that the more homogeneous land surface conditions lead to stronger secondary circulation and less turbulent drafts over the oasis interior, playing a positive role in the oasis self-maintenance and development.