Improving Computation of Sensible Heat Flux over a Water Surface Using the Variational Method Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract In this study, the authors have performed the variational computations for surface sensible heat fluxes over a large northern lake using observed wind, temperature gradient, and moisture gradient. In contrast with the conventional (Monin–Obukhov similarity theory) MOST-based flux-gradient method, the variational approach sufficiently utilizes observational meteorological conditions over the lake, where the conventional flux-gradient method performs poorly. Verifications using direct eddy-correlation measurements over Great Slave Lake, the fifth largest lake in North America in terms of surface area, during the open water period of 1999 demonstrate that the variational method yields good agreements between the computed and the measured sensible heat fluxes. It is also demonstrated that the variational method is more accurate than the flux-gradient method in computations of sensible heat flux across the air–water interface.

publication date

  • August 1, 2006