The use of a large-aperture scintillometer to estimate sensible heat flux has been successfully tested by several investigators. Most of these investigations, however, have been confined to homogeneous or to sparse with single vegetation-type surfaces. The use of the scintillometer over surfaces made up of contrasting vegetation types is problematic because it requires estimates of effective roughness length and effective displacement height in order to derive area-average sensible heat from measurements of the refractive index. In this study an approach based on a combination of scintillometer measurements and an aggregation scheme has been used to derive area-average sensible heat flux over a transect spanning two adjacent and contrasting vegetation patches: grass and mesquite. The performance of this approach has been assessed using data collected during the 1997 Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere field campaign. The results show that the combined approach performed remarkably well, and the correlation coefficient between measured and simulated area-average sensible heat flux was ~0.95. This is of interest because this approach offers a reliable means for validating remotely sensed estimates of surface fluxes at comparable spatial scales.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology