The role of dew in the water and heat balance of bare loess soil in the Negev Desert: Quantifying the actual dew deposition on the soil surface

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    Abstract

    During nighttime, latent heat fluxes to or from the soil surface are usually very small and the absolute amounts of dew deposition are accordingly very small. The detection of such small fluxes poses serious measurement difficulties. Various methods for measuring dew have been described in the literature and most of them rely on the use of artificial condensing plates with physical properties that are very different from those of soil surfaces. A system that detects the actual dew deposition on the soil surface under natural conditions would be advantageous and microlysimeters (MLs) appear to be the obvious answer. The objectives of this work were to test the adequacy of microlysimeters to estimate condensation amounts, and to compare these amounts with those measured by a Hiltner dew balance in order to validate the long term data collected using the latter. The research was carried out at the Wadi Mashash Experimental Farm in the Northern Negev, Israel, during two measurement periods. A micro-meteorological station was installed in the field next to a modified Hiltner balance. A microlysimeter with an undisturbed soil sample was placed nearby. During the first period, the depth of the microlysimeter was 15 cm while at the second period it was 55 cm. The results show that for measuring dew, the minimum depth of a microlysimeter should exceed the depth at which the diurnal temperature is constant, which for a dry loess soil in the Negev Desert is 50 cm.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)323-334
    Number of pages12
    JournalAtmospheric Research
    Volume64
    Issue number1-4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Sep 2002

    Keywords

    • Bare soil
    • Desert
    • Dew
    • Microlysimeter

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