Impact of atmospheric boundary layer temperature variations on moisture venting from fractures and cracks

M. I. Dragila, N. Weisbrod

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

Abstract

Exchange dynamics across any boundary can be significantly impacted by boundary shape. In the case of the soil surface, cracks and fractures control the temporal distribution of vapor flux to the atmosphere. Thermal convection within fractures creates an effective heat-engine that drives vapor deep within the vadose zone upward to the atmosphere. This heat-engine within a fracture is strongly dependent on the variation between atmospheric temperature and vadose zone thermal gradients, resulting in a vapor venting process that has a strong diurnal and seasonal signature. Ironically, convective venting is stronger during nighttime hours, and during winter months than in summer, inverse of most flat-boundary vapor loss processes. Three years of fieldwork data will be presented that show the temporal distribution of this process in a natural setting. Data was collected in arid environments where soil cracks and surface-rock fractures were present.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Abstracts
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009
EventAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2009 -
Duration: 14 Dec 200918 Dec 2009

Keywords

  • 1843 HYDROLOGY / Land/atmosphere interactions
  • 1866 HYDROLOGY / Soil moisture
  • 1875 HYDROLOGY / Vadose zone
  • 1878 HYDROLOGY / Water/energy interactions

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