Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #215828

Title: Validating regional-scale surface energy balance models

item Anderson, Martha
item Kustas, William - Bill

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2007
Publication Date: 12/10/2007
Citation: Anderson, M.C., Kustas, W.P. 2007. Validating regional-scale surface energy balance models [abstract]. EOS Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplements. 88(52):H21H-0828.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: One of the major challenges in developing reliable regional surface flux models is the relative paucity of scale-appropriate validation data. Direct comparisons between coarse-resolution model flux estimates and flux tower data can often be dominated by sub-pixel heterogeneity effects, making it difficult to assess the intrinsic model accuracy. Several possible approaches to validating regional energy balance models are presented, including using high-resolution remote sensing data to disaggregate to the observation scale, or alternatively using dense tower networks or aircraft-based flux sensors to improve the spatial coverage of the observations. Such techniques, however, typically have limited temporal coverage, often providing only snapshots of surface conditions. Scintillometry provides a unique means for acquiring time-continuous flux measurements at the scale of the regional model pixel, facilitating rigorous validation over heterogeneous landscapes. Paired short- and microwave scintillometers allow simultaneous measurement of area-averaged sensible and latent heating, and will be invaluable in working towards robust continental and ultimately global models of the surface energy balance.