Analysis of the Surface Energy Closure for a Site in the Gobi Desert in Northwest China


  • The heat storage terms over an ideal (non-vegetated) horizontal desert surface may be very important and easily neglected in surface energy balance studies. In this paper, based on a field experiment over the Gobi Desert in the middle part of the Hexi Corridor in Northwest China (39°05′N, 100°160°E; 1457-m elevation), we studied the energy budget closure and evaluated the contribution of the heat storage terms to the closure of the surface energy balance. There were imbalances of 8% and 15% in summer and winter, respectively, if the heat storage terms were not taken into account. For both seasons, a nearly perfect result of the surface energy closure (99%) was obtained by inclusion of the estimates of heat storage terms. The soil heat storage term improved the surface energy imbalance by about 6% in summer and 13% in winter, and the air enthalpy storage term improved it by about 0.6% in summer and 1% in winter, while the contribution of the atmospheric moisture changes could be ignored.
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