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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-14
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-14
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  23 Jan 2020

23 Jan 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Vapor plumes in a tropical wet forest: spotting the invisible evaporation

César Dionisio Jiménez-Rodríguez1,2, Miriam Coenders-Gerrits1, Bart Schilperoort1, Adriana González-Angarita3, and Hubert Savenije1 César Dionisio Jiménez-Rodríguez et al.
  • 1Delft University of Technology, Water Resources Section, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, the Netherlands
  • 2Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Escuela de Ingeniería Forestal, 159-7050, Cartago, Costa Rica
  • 3independent researcher

Abstract. Forest evaporation exports a vast amount of water vapor from land ecosystems into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, evaporation during rain events is neglected or considered of minor importance in dense ecosystems. Air convection moves the water vapor upwards leading the formation of large invisible vapor plumes, while the identification of visible vapor plumes has not been studied yet. This work describes the formation process of vapor plumes in a tropical wet forest as evidence of evaporation processes happening during rain events. In the dry season of 2018 at La Selva Biological Station (LSBS) in Costa Rica it was possible to spot visible vapor plumes within the forest canopy. The combination of time-lapse videos at the canopy top with meteorological measurements along the canopy profile allowed to identify the conditions required for this process to happen. This phenomenon happened only during rain events, where evaporation measurements showed contributions of 1.8 mm d−1. Visible vapor plumes during day time occurred on the presence of precipitation (P), air convection identified by the temperature gradient (Δϴv / Δz) at 2 m height, and a lifting condensation level at 43 m height (Zlcl.43) smaller than 100 m.

César Dionisio Jiménez-Rodríguez et al.

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César Dionisio Jiménez-Rodríguez et al.

Data sets

Vapor Plumes Video at La Selva Biological Station. C. D. Jiménez-Rodríguez, A. P. González-Angarita, A. M. J. Coenders-Gerrits, H. H. G. Savenije, and J. Wenninger https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:997cc9d8-2281-453e-b631-5f93cfebe00e

Meteorological data and isotope signatures of water samples collected at La Selva. C. D. Jimenez-Rodriguez, A. P. Gonzalez-Angarita, and A. M. J. Coenders-Gerrits https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:e70993d2-5852-4f63-9aff-39451fbd3fde

César Dionisio Jiménez-Rodríguez et al.

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Short summary
During rainfall events, the evaporation from Tropical forests is usually ignored. However, the water retained on the canopy during rainfall increases the evaporation despite the high humid conditions. In a Tropical wet forest in Costa Rica, it was possible to depict vapor plumes rising from the forest canopy during rainfall. These plumes are evidence of forest evaporation. Also, we identified those conditions that allowed this phenomenon to happen using time-lapse videos and meteorological data.
During rainfall events, the evaporation from Tropical forests is usually ignored. However, the...
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