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Water Vapor, Temperature and Wind Profiles within Maize Canopy under in-Field Rainwater Harvesting with Wide and Narrow Runoff Strips

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Author(s): Weldemichael A. Tesfuhuney | Sue Walker | Leon D. van Rensburg | Colin S. Everson

Journal: Atmosphere
ISSN 2073-4433

Volume: 4;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 428;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: micrometeorological measurements | vertical profiles | maize canopy | in-field rainwater harvesting | transpiration | soil evaporation

ABSTRACT
Micrometeorological measurements were used to evaluate heat and water vapor to describe the transpiration (Ev) and soil evaporation (Es) processes for wide and narrow runoff strips under in-field rainwater harvesting (IRWH) system. The resulting sigmoid-shaped water vapor (ea) in wide and narrow runoff strips varied in lower and upper parts of the maize canopy. In wide runoff strips, lapse conditions of ea extended from lowest measurement level (LP) to the upper middle section (MU) and inversion was apparent at the top of the canopy. The virtual potential temperature (θv) profile showed no difference in middle section, but the lower and upper portion (UP) had lower  in narrow, compared to wide, strips, and LP-UP changes of 0.6 K and 1.2 K were observed, respectively. The Ev and Es within the canopy increased the ea concentration as determined by the wind order of magnitude. The ea concentration reached peak at about 1.6 kPa at a range of wind speed value of 1.4–1.8 m∙s−1 and 2.0–2.4 m∙s−1 for wide and narrow treatments, respectively. The sparse maize canopy of the wide strips could supply more drying power of the air in response to atmospheric evaporative demand compared to narrow strips. This is due to the variation in air flow in wide and narrow runoff strips that change gradients in ea for evapotranspiration processes.
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