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Using field measurements across land cover types to evaluate albedo-based wind friction velocity and estimate sediment transport

Zhou, Zhuoli, Zhang, Chunlai, Chappell, Adrian ORCID:, Zou, Xueyong, Zhang, Zhuodong, Zuo, Xiaofeng, Zhang, Xiaoyu, Zhou, Junxiong and Cao, Zihao 2024. Using field measurements across land cover types to evaluate albedo-based wind friction velocity and estimate sediment transport. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 129 (4) , e2023JD040313. 10.1029/2023JD040313

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The soil surface wind friction velocity (us*) is an essential parameter for predicting sediment transport on rough surfaces. However, this parameter is difficult and time-consuming to obtain over large areas due to its spatiotemporal heterogeneity. The albedo-based approach calibrates normalized shadow retrieved from any source of albedo data with laboratory measurements of aerodynamic properties. This enables direct and cross-scale us* retrieval but has not been evaluated against field measurements for different cover types. We evaluated the approach's performance using wind friction velocity (u*) measurements from ultrasonic anemometers. We retrieved coincident field pyranometer and satellite albedo at 48 sites that were spread over approximately 1,800 km on the Inner Mongolia Plateau, including grassland, artificial shrubland, open shrubland, and gobi land. For all cover types, u* estimates from ultrasonic anemometers were close to the albedo-based results approach. Our results confirm and extend the findings that the approach works across scales from lab to field measurements and permits large-area assessments using satellite albedo. We compared the seasonal sediment transport across the region calculated from albedo-based us* with results from an exemplar traditional transport model (QT) driven by u* with aerodynamic roughness length varying with land cover type and fixed over time. The traditional model could not account for spatiotemporal variation in roughness elements and considerably over-estimated sediment transport, particularly in partially vegetated and gravel-covered central and western parts of the Inner Mongolia Plateau. The albedo-based sediment transport (QA) estimates will enable dynamic monitoring of the interaction between wind and surface roughness to support Earth System models.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
ISSN: 2169-897X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 February 2024
Date of Acceptance: 27 January 2024
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2024 06:15

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