EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A Model of the Energy Balance Gap Based on Atmospheric Stability and Surface Heterogeneity

Luise Wanner1,2, Marc Calaf3, Sreenath Paleri4, Hawwa Kadum1, Brian Butterworth5, Ankur Desai4, and Matthias Mauder1,2,6
Luise Wanner et al.
  • 1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research - Atmospheric Environmental Research, Germany (
  • 2Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology, Dresden, Germany
  • 3University of Utah, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • 4University of Wisconsin Madison, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Madison, WI, USA
  • 5University of Colorado Boulder, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Boulder, CO, USA
  • 6Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Geography und Geoecology, Karlsruhe, Germany

Secondary circulations are one of the main causes of the energy balance gap that arises from the underestimation of sensible and latent heat fluxes by eddy covariance measurements because they cannot capture the energy transported by the mean wind, i.e. the so-called dispersive flux. The magnitude of the missed sensible and latent dispersive fluxes depends significantly on atmospheric stability and surface thermal heterogeneity, but there is currently no correction method that accounts for both of these relationships. Using an idealized large-eddy simulation study, we have further developed an existing approach that models the energy balance gap as a function of atmospheric stability by additionally including thermal surface heterogeneity in the parametrization. This new model has already been tested on eddy covariance measurements that were carried out at 17 stations over the course of three months during the CHEESEHEAD19 (Chequamegon Heterogeneous Ecosystem Energy-balance Study Enabled by a High-density Extensive Array of Detectors) measurement campaign and it provides promising results.

How to cite: Wanner, L., Calaf, M., Paleri, S., Kadum, H., Butterworth, B., Desai, A., and Mauder, M.: A Model of the Energy Balance Gap Based on Atmospheric Stability and Surface Heterogeneity, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3688,, 2022.


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