Temporally dynamic canopy heights derived from momentum flux data across AmeriFlux sites.
This study evaluates an innovative and robust method for deriving the canopy height, a key descriptor of the Earth surface, from continuously measured wind statistics and momentum fluxes. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley show its applicability for tracking the temporal dynamics of vegetation canopies, including plant growth, harvest, land use change, and disturbance.
Networks of eddy covariance tower sites (i.e., meteorological observation towers with high frequency measurements of wind speed and surface fluxes) have collected ~108 hours of turbulent flux data worldwide. This study demonstrates the great potential of the flux-derived canopy heights for providing a new benchmark for regional and global Earth system models and satellite remote sensing of canopy structure.
Vegetation canopy height is a key descriptor of the Earth surface and is in use by many modeling and conservation applications. However, large-scale and time-varying data of canopy heights are often unavailable. This synthesis evaluates the calculation of canopy heights from the momentum flux data measured at eddy covariance flux tower sites. This study shows that the aerodynamic estimation of canopy heights robustly predicts the site-to-site and year-to-year differences in canopy heights across a wide variety of forests. The weekly canopy heights successfully capture the dynamics of vegetation canopies over growing seasons at cropland and grassland sites. These results demonstrate the potential of the flux-derived canopy heights for tracking the seasonal, interannual, and/or decadal dynamics of vegetation canopies including growth, harvest, land use change, and disturbance. Given the amount of data collected and the diversity of vegetation covered by the global networks of eddy covariance flux tower sites, the flux-derived canopy height has great potential for providing a new benchmark for regional and global Earth system models and satellite remote sensing of canopy structure.
Contacts (BER PM)
Terrestrial Ecosystem Science
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
This study is supported by FLUXNET and AmeriFlux Management Projects, sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DE-SC0012456 and DE-AC02-05CH11231).
Chu, H. et al. “Temporal dynamics of aerodynamic canopy height derived from eddy covariance momentum flux data across North American Flux Networks.” Geophysical Research Letters 45(17), 9275-9287 (2018). [DOI: 10.1029/2018GL079306]
SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER
May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]
May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]
May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]
May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]
Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]
List all highlights (possible long download time)