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Local boundary-layer development over burnt and unburnt tropical savanna: an observational study

Wendt, C., Beringer, J., Tapper, N and Hutley, Lindsay (2007). Local boundary-layer development over burnt and unburnt tropical savanna: an observational study. Boundary-Layer Meteorology: an international journal of physical and biological processes in the atmospheric boundary layer,124(2):291-304.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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ISI LOC 000247973600009
IRMA ID 73195523xPUB37
Title Local boundary-layer development over burnt and unburnt tropical savanna: an observational study
Author Wendt, C.
Beringer, J.
Tapper, N
Hutley, Lindsay
Journal Name Boundary-Layer Meteorology: an international journal of physical and biological processes in the atmospheric boundary layer
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 124
Issue Number 2
ISSN 0006-8314   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-34447310518
Start Page 291
End Page 304
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Publisher Springer
Field of Research 0401 - Atmospheric Sciences
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Fire scars have the ability to radically alter the surface energy budget within a tropical savanna by reducing surface albedo, increasing available energy for partitioning into sensible and latent heat fluxes and increasing substrate heat flux. These changes have the potential to alter boundary-layer conditions and ultimately feedback to local and regional climate. We measured radiative and energy fluxes over burnt and unburnt tropical savanna near Howard Springs, Darwin, Australia. At the burnt site a low to moderate intensity fire, ranging between 1,000 and 3,500 kW m(-1), initially affected the land surface by removing all understorey vegetation, charring and blackening the ground surface, scorching the overstorey canopy and reducing the albedo. A reduction in latent heat fluxes to almost zero was seen immediately after the fire when the canopy was scorched. This was then followed by an increase in the sensible heat flux and a large increase in the ground heat flux over the burnt surface. Tethered balloon measurements showed that, despite the presence of pre-monsoonal rain events occurring during the measurement period, the lower boundary layer over the burnt site was up to 2 degrees C warmer than that over the unburnt site. This increase in boundary-layer heating when applied to fire scars at the landscape scale can have the ability to form or alter local mesoscale circulations and ultimately create a feedback to regional heating and precipitation patterns that may affect larger-scale processes such as the Australian monsoon.
Keywords albedo
fire scar
Northern Territory
surface energy budget
tethered balloon
tropical savanna
northern australia
boreal forest
fire
vegetation
territory
climate
feedbacks
emissions
impacts
monsoon
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10546-006-9148-3   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Mon, 08 Sep 2008, 16:16:22 CST