Submitted to: Trends in Environmental Physics
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 13, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
The boundary between the earth's surface and the atmosphere is one of the most variable and complex because of large temporal and spatial variation. There is limited understanding of the dynamics of the soil surface as influenced by man's activities. Soil temperature and surface soil water changes are a function of the net radiation impinging on the soil surface, soil thermal properties, and water vapor transfer coefficients. Net radiation at the soil surface is dependent upon the time of year, time of day, surface cover, configuration of the canopy, and balance between sensible and latent heat exchange. The soil thermal properties and hydraulic properties are dependent upon the density, organic matter, and porosity of the soil surface. All of these factors are influenced by man's activities. The tools exist to describe these components of the surface energy balance. There are some challenges to more completely characterize the temporal variation in the soil surface properties, quantify the positional variation at the soil surface, develop integrated models of heat, water vapor, and gas transfer from the soil surface, and evaluate the offseason effects of different management practices on energy exchanges. Soil surface models can be developed that describe the changes due to management that would be applicable to evaluating the effect of man on the natural resources.