EGU General Assembly 2020
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Spider webbing the land-atmosphere interface

Miriam Coenders-Gerrits and Bart Schilperoort
Miriam Coenders-Gerrits and Bart Schilperoort
  • Delft University of Technology, Water Resources Section, Delft, Netherlands (

Worldwide 55-80% of the rainfall evaporates from the surface, making it a major water drain for the earth's water resources and a major supply of moisture to the atmosphere. Evaporation is relevant for crop growth and has a high impact on the severity of drought and floods. Nonetheless, this key process is still a highly uncertain, insufficiently quantified process. Also effecting weather forecasts as the available water is used as their boundary condition in atmospheric models. The persistent problem herein is our restricted understanding of the key processes of the land-atmosphere interface, as well as their interplay with hydrological and atmospheric processes. The major bottleneck is the difficulty to properly measure the land-atmosphere interface at the right spatial and temporal scale.

In this talk I will propose an experimental approach that enables data collection for the full surface energy balance at the land-atmosphere interface. This will be achieved by developing and exploiting a 'spider web' - like measurement approach with temperature measuring fibre optic cables (Distributed Temperature Sensing). This will enable simultaneously and continuously measurements of high-resolution temperature, humidity, wind, and soil moisture gradients. Which allows derivaiton of the sensible, latent, and ground heat flux and storage. The spider web offers a better representation of the land-atmosphere interface for the purpose to provide a knowledge base for improving flood and drought predictions and weather forecasts.

How to cite: Coenders-Gerrits, M. and Schilperoort, B.: Spider webbing the land-atmosphere interface, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2918,, 2020

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Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 30 Apr 2020
  • AC1: Reference to example of DTS-mesh, Miriam Coenders-Gerrits, 07 May 2020

    As promised in the live-chat, hereby the reference to an example of a DTS-cube

    Solcerova, A.; Van Emmerik, T.; Hilgersom, K.; Van de Ven, F.; Van de Giesen, N. Uchimizu: A Cool(ing) Tradition to Locally Decrease Air Temperature. Water 201810, 741.

    • AC2: Additional references, Bart Schilperoort, 07 May 2020

      Additionally, the following publications make use of larger scale 2D/3D DTS measurement setups:

      • Near-Surface Motion in the Nocturnal, Stable Boundary Layer Observed with Fibre-Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing -
      • High-Resolution Fibre-Optic Temperature Sensing: A New Tool to Study the Two-Dimensional Structure of Atmospheric Surface-Layer Flow -