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Doctoral Degrees (Agrometeorology)

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    Productivity and water use of commercial forestry species and their potential impact on surface water resources in two forestry areas of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2023) Kaptein, Nkosinathi David.; Clulow, Alistair David.; Toucher, Michelle Lynn.; Everson, Colin Stuart.; Germishuizen, Ilaria.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Application of crop models in assessing impact of climate change and identifying adaptation options in a tropical environment in Ethiopia.
    (2021) Feleke, Hirut Getachew.; Savage, Michael John.; Tesfaye, Kindie.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Observed and projected climate change effects on localized drought events: a case study for sugarbelt within KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, South Africa.
    (2021) Ncoyini-Manciya, Zoleka.; Savage, Michael John.
    The projected increase of air temperature across the globe has been associated the increased vulnerability of resource-poor farming communities to climate variability. Past and possible changes in climate trends for the study area within the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) midlands sugarcane belt are presented in this study. An analysis of the climatic trend for two time-periods (1966-1994 and 1997-2017) is undertaken. Various analytical tools which include Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI), the Penman-Monteith model, linear regression and Man-Kendall (MK) test, the de-trended method, surface humidity index (SHI), Run’s theory, statistical downscaling method (SDSM), drought indices and a survey through questionnaires were applied. The ETCCDI analysis showed that air temperatures during day-time have become warmer resulting in a decrease in the number of cool days. with night-time air temperatures showing an opposite trend. The Penman-Monteith model results showed a statistically insignificant decreasing short-grass reference evapotranspiration (ETo) trend for the study site for the 1966 to 2017. The statistical downscaling results indicated an increasing trend for both minimum and maximum air temperature for the period of 2011-2099. Except for the results of extreme minimum air temperature, the results of the study are consistent with other climate studies conducted worldwide. Nevertheless, the findings of this study provide evidence that despite the general global warming observation across the world, there are areas that experience a paradoxical minimum air temperature trend that is often overlooked in global and national studies. The study also emphasizes the possible influence of microclimate on climate trends. Most importantly, the study results highlight the critical role that individual local weather stations play in informing local farming communities and relevant stakeholders that are less knowledgeable about local climate change. Descriptive analysis based on the survey data for the study area found that the majority of the small-scale sugarcane farmers (69%) in the study area are poorly informed about the accessibility, availability and possible use of climate information. A large number of the participants (> 50%) have never used either seasonal climate information or climate warnings in their decision making. The few individuals (31%) who have received the information from different sources highlighted the delayed delivery of the information. Despite significant progress on climate modelling and possible information dissemination channels, access to climate information by small-scale farmers still has not improved and many have not captured the substance of climate change. This finding needs a further investigation. The study is useful in informing land-use planning decisions based on the observed and projected climate trends. Through identification of possible impacts of increased extreme rainfall and decrease in short grass reference evapotranspiration as well as projected changes in air temperature and precipitation, the sugarcane farming community can determine whether sugarcane farming will be commercially viable under climate change conditions or determine sugarcane varieties that align with the detected and projected climate changes of the study area.
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    Analysis and integration of regional scale temperature datasets into a seasonal crop monitoring system.
    (2018) Magadzire, Tinomutenda Tamuka.; Savage, Michael John.; Funk, Christopher C.
    Populations in excess of 20 million people in southern Africa annually face food insecurity. This number increases appreciably when detrimental seasonal climate conditions lead to widespread reductions in crop harvests. This situation has led to the development of regionalscale crop monitoring systems that incorporate crop-specific water balance (CSWB) models for early detection and warning of impending weather-related crop production shortfalls. Early warning of anticipated reductions in crop harvests facilitates early action in responding to potential crises. One such system, used by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) in southern Africa for crop monitoring, calculates the water requirements satisfaction index (WRSI) using a CSWB model. Operationally, CSWB models for calculating WRSI have used a static length of growing period (LGP) to bracket the period over which rainfall and evapotranspiration variations can affect crop yields. In the long term, concerns have been raised by some studies on the impact of rising air temperatures on crop production. There is therefore a need to incorporate the impacts of air temperature on crops directly into food security monitoring systems, in order to improve the accuracy of these monitoring systems in identifying and locating weather-related crop production shortfalls. This study sought to assess the potential improvements that can be introduced to the crop monitoring system in general and the WRSI in particular, by incorporating air temperature data into the CSWB model. To address this objective, daily maximum and minimum air temperature grids derived from a general circulation model reanalysis were used to generate thermal time estimates, expressed as growing degree day (GDD) grids for a maize crop. The GDDs were used to estimate the LGP of maize for each pixel of each summer season (which typically runs between around October and March) from 1982/1983 to 2016/2017 in southern Africa. The variable, temperature-driven LGP estimates compared favourably with LGP values obtained from literature for a few sample locations. The variable LGP was used to calculate the WRSI for 35 seasons, and the resultant WRSI showed improved correlation with historical yield estimates compared to the static-LGP WRSI, particularly after the farming practice of planting on multiple dates was taken into consideration. Various expressions of WRSI were considered in the analysis, including WRSI calculated assuming planting at the onset of rains, WRSI aggregated from varying number of separate planting dates, including three and six planting dates as test examples, and WRSI calculated using a modified soil water holding capacity to better capture local soil management practices. Historical maize yields for sub-national administrative units from seven southern African countries were correlated with the various WRSI expressions. Gridded GDD data that reflect the accumulated severity of extreme warm temperatures experienced during the crop growth period, referred to as extreme growing degree days, or eGDD, were also noted to have significant correlations with historical maize yields in several southern African countries. A number of variants of the eGDDs were tested, including eGDDs accumulated throughout the crop’s growth period, eGDDs that only occurred simultaneously with periods of crop water deficit, eGDDs that occurred during the crop flowering stage, and eGDDs scaled by the severity of crop water deficit. In several areas, the various eGDD expressions indicated higher correlations with yield than any of the WRSI variants indicated. The eGDD parameter showed strong correlations with WRSI, suggesting that the accumulated high temperatures were a reflection of the influence of low rainfall and low soil moisture during episodes of high temperature. More work is required to calibrate and refine the temperature-based monitoring parameters that were developed in this study, at local, sub-national scales. In particular, assumptions of the linearity of maize yield response for the various parameters should be tested. Potential improvements of the combined eGDD-water deficit parameter through the incorporation of prediction coefficients and constants should also be tested. A secondary aim of the study was to explore how readily available temperature-related datasets can be utilized to derive air-temperature metrics. To this end, satellite-derived thermal infrared (TIR) brightness temperature data were analysed, and a method was developed for identifying cloud cover, while simultaneously estimating cloud-free diurnal brightness temperature curves, using a single TIR satellite channel. The diurnal brightness temperature curves were developed using a sinusoidal and exponential model for daytime and nighttime respectively, utilizing modifications that enabled the curves to be estimated from two known temperatures at any two given times with cloud-free brightness temperature scenes. Comparison of the cloud mask developed in this study with an existing operational cloud mask based on a methodology developed by the EUMETSAT Satellite Applications Facility for Nowcasting gave an accuracy of 85.4%, when the operational method was considered as truth in a confusion matrix analysis. Situations were identified in which the different cloud detection methods showed superior performance, and could therefore complement each other. A statistical method was also developed for calibrating the cloud-free brightness temperatures to station-observed 2-m air temperatures using relationships between the means and diurnal temperature ranges of the two datasets. This enabled the identification of periods of occurrence of extreme warm air temperatures with a coefficient of determination of 0.91, and demonstrated the potential for the usage of TIR data for generating estimates of useful air temperature metrics. The efficiency of the algorithms that were used for simultaneous cloud masking and generation of cloud-free brightness temperature should be improved, in order to enable the methodology to be scaled up to a regional or global gridded level of analysis. Further work for improving operational gridded air temperature datasets by combining station-observed temperature data, modelled data from global circulation models, satellite-derived modelled cloud-free brightness temperature data and cloud masks is recommended.
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    Variability of radiation balance in sloped terrains and its impact on microclimatic characteristics of field crops.
    (2018) Tongwane, Mphethe Isaac.; Savage, Michael John.; Tsubo, Mitsuru.
    Abstract available in PDF file.
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    The respiratory health effects associated with particulate matter (PM₂․₅) exposure in children residing near a landfill site : a case of eThekwini Municipality.
    (2015) Gumede, Phiwayinkosi Richmond.; Savage, Michael John.
    Currently, land-filling is the main waste disposal method utilized in South Africa. However little is known about the health risk factors among children living near the landfill sites. This is a first study that sought to interrogate and determine respiratory health symptoms and outcomes in children aged between 6 and 12 years who reside within a two-kilometre radius of the Bisasar Road landfill site, Durban, South Africa, the largest landfill site in Africa. Durban is situated in the eThekwini Municipality, along the east coast of South Africa in KwaZulu-Natal province. In South Africa, there are no regulations or guidelines in place to stipulate the buffer zone between a community and a landfill site. The study also aimed to determine if there is a correlation between those respiratory health outcomes and the close proximity to the landfill site. Community experiences regarding the landfill site and its health impacts were also interrogated. Various studies undertaken on the impact of waste disposal facilities have focused mainly on the landfill site gas emissions such as methane due to its climate impact and its potential for energy production. Particulate matter (PM₂․₅) exposure in children residing in the vicinity of the landfill site and the opinions of the adult residents, on the other hand, have neither been extensively investigated nor documented in developing countries, South Africa included. As the study investigated the respiratory health outcomes in children residing within a 2-km radius of Africa’s largest landfill site, it was vital to adopt materials, procedures and data collection methods that would not only provide an overall health reality of the area but enable the researcher to focus on children who are the future of South Africa; that are being groomed and nurtured in this environment. A mixture of the positivist and interpretivist paradigm had to be adopted in this case as were ‘scientific methods’ - where all is ordered, regular and can be objectively investigated, hypotheses tested and utilised. But the social context of information needs interrogating, and also how it is developed and construed by people and the way in which it is influenced by and influences that social setting. The study adopted both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the impact the landfill site has on children and to ascertain residents’ perceptions of the landfill site. Questionnaires included predefined questions in a predetermined order were administered to participants purposively and randomly selected at the Clare Estate area near the Bisasar Road landfill site. Thus it became almost a case study as it not only tested hypotheses as in an experiment on health outcomes subsequent to the pollution reality of the area. It also gains insight into and generates knowledge from studying this particular instance and that knowledge may be relevant to other situations that will surely develop in this modern industrialised perennially waste-emitting world. Interviews that focussed more on depth than breadth were another data generation method utilised that occurred in three forms - structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews, all aiming for an in-depth investigation explored at different levels. Furthermore, spirometry was conducted to establish the lung function patterns of randomly selected children, and PM₂․₅ concentration was measured at homes of those children. Based on data or evidence collected, charts and graphs were used to show patterns. Findings are presented and discussed. In order to foreground the respiratory health of children, this study presents significant findings in understanding the characteristics of the homes and the possible sources of the indoor air pollution. The investigation highlighted, inter alia, the fact that household pests, cockroaches in this case, and settling dust are the main causes of the poor indoor air quality. In homes where PM₂․₅ concentration was found to be high, most children reported respiratory health symptoms. The study also unearthed a high degree of residents’ discontent due to their close proximity to the landfill site. It was evidenced that the close proximity to the landfill site was affecting health negatively. It befitted the exploration to conclude that children, the future adults of this country, that reside in the proximity of air pollution emitting sources such as landfill sites have an increased risk of respiratory health conditions. These conditions include wheezing and asthma and many other related ones that may determine their lifespan due to exposure to unchecked outdoor air pollution sources. Not only should the issue be attended to as a matter of urgency but as one that affects the future of a generation and whose impact will be more significant on the nation than all pandemic ones whose effects are swift. Overall, this study significantly advances the understanding of the possible impact of landfill activities on children residing near them. Furthermore, the study concluded that the community of Clare Estate was not only dissatisfied with the location of this landfill site, as would be the case for many similar landfill sites, but also had no other residential option and only the relocation of the landfill site could be a proactive way forward. The findings of this study will not only inform future best practices in the location of such sites but also heighten awareness of the long-term negative effects that can shorten lifespan of a generation when health considerations are not juxtaposed to progress and industrialization.
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    Measurement of water potential using thermocouple hygrometers.
    (1982) Savage, Michael John.; Crass, Albert.; De Jager, James M.
    Theory predicts that the time dependent voltage curve of a thermocouple psychrometer where there is no change in output voltage with time during the evaporation cycle defines the wet bulb temperature T[w] corresponding to the water potential. In practice, a change in voltage with time does occur and it is convenient to define the voltage corresponding to the water potential as the maximum point of- inflection voltage. A predictive model based on calibration data at a few tempertures is used to obtain the psychrometer calibration slope at any temperature. Use of this model indicates that psychrometers differ from each other and therefore must be individually calibrated if accuracy better than ±5 % in the measurement of water potential is required. Dewpoint hygrometers are shown to be less temperature sensitive than psychrometers and have the added advantage of a voltage sensitivity nearly twice that of psychrometers, typically -7,0 x 10¯³ μV/kPa compared to -3,7 x 10¯³ μV/kPa at 25 °C. The accurate temperature correction of hygrometer calibration curve slopes is a necessity if field measurements are undertaken using either psychrometric or dewpoint techniques. In the case of thermocouple psychrometers, two temperature correction models are proposed, each based on measurement of the thermojunction radius and calculation of the theoretical voltage sensitivity to changes in water potential. The first model relies on calibration at a single temperature and the second at two temperatures. Both these models were more accurate than the temperature correction models currently in use for four leaf psychrometers calibrated over a range of temperatures (15 to 38°C). The model based on calibration at two temperatures is superior to that based on only one calibration. The model proposed for dewpoint hygrometers is similar to that for psychrometers. It is based on the theoretical voltage sensitivity to changes in water potential. Comparison with empirical data from three dewpoint hygrometers calibrated at four different temperatures indicates that these instruments need only be calibrated at, say 25°C, if the calibration slopes are corrected for temperature. A model is presented for the calculation of the error in measured thermocouple hygrometric water potential for individual hygrometers used in the dewpoint or psychrometric mode. The model is based on calculation of the relative standard error in measured thermocouple psychrometric water potential as a function of temperature. Sources of error in the psychrometric mode were in calibration of the instrument as a function of water potential and temperature and in voltage (due to electronic noise and zero offsets) and temperature measurement in the field. Total error increased as temperature decreased, approaching a value usually determined by the shape of the thermocouple junction, electronic noise (at low voltages less than 1 μV) and errors in temperature measurement. At higher temperatures, error was a combination of calibration errors, electronic noise and zero offset voltage. Field calibration data for a number of leaf psychrometers contained total errors that ranged between 6 (at a °C) and 2 %(at 45 °C) for the better psychrometers and between 11 (at 0° C) and 5 % (at 45 C) for the worst assuming that the zero offset was 0,5 μV. Zero offset values were less than 0,7 μV at all times. The dewpoint errors arose from calibration of the dewpoint hygrometer as a function of water potential, extrapolation of the calibration slope to other temperatures, setting the dewpoint coefficient and errors in voltage and temperature measurement. The total error also increased as temperature decreased, because of the differences in temperature sensitivity between dewpoint and psychrometric calibration constants. Consequently, the major source of error in the dewpoint mode arose from the difficulty in determining the dewpoint coefficient. This error, which is temperature dependent, contains three subcomponent errors; the temperature dependence, random variation associated with determining the temperature dependence and error in setting the correct value. Calibration and extrapolation errors were smaller than those of the psychrometric technique. Typically, the error in a dewpoint measurement varied between about 6 and 2 % for the best hygrometer and between 10 and 3 % for the worst for temperatures between 0 and 45 °C respectively. At low temperatures, the dewpoint technique often has no advantage over the psychrometric technique, in terms of measurement errors. In a comparative laboratory study, leaf water potentials were measured using the Scholander pressure chamber, psychrometers and hydraulic press. Newly mature trifoliates cut from field grown soybean (Glycine max (L) Merr. cv. Dribi) were turgidified and, after different degrees of dehydration, leaf water potential measured. One leaflet from the trifoliate was used for the thermocouple psychrometer and another for the press while the central leaflet with its petiolule was retained for use in the pressure chamber. Significant correlations between measurements using these instruments were obtained but the slopes for hydraulic press vs psychrometer measurement curve and hydraulic press vs pressure chamber were 0,742 and 0,775 respectively. Plots of pressure-volume curves indicate that the point of incipient plasmolysis was the same (statistically) for the thermocouple psychrometer and the pressure chamber, but much larger for the hydnaulic press. The above-mentioned differences between the three instruments emphasize the need for calib rating the endpoint defined us i ng the press against one or more of the standard techniques, and, limi ting the use of the press to one person. Cuticular resistance to water vapour diffusion between the substomatal cavity and the sensing psychrometer junction is a problem unique to leaf psychrometry and dewpoint hygrometry; this resistance is not encountered in soil or solution psychrometry. The cuticular resistance may introduce error in the leaf water potential measurement. The effect of abraiding the cuticle of Citrus jambhiri to reduce its resistance, on the measured leaf water potential was investigated. Psychrometric measurements of leaf water potential were compared with simultaneous measurements on nearby leaves using the Scholander pressure chamber, in a field situation. Leaf surface damage, due to abrasion, was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Thermocouple psychrometers are the only instruments which can measure the in situ water potential of intact leaves, and which may be suitable for continuous, non-destructive monitoring of water potential. Unfortunately, their usefulness is limited by a number of difficulties, among them fluctuating temperatures and temperature gradients within the psychrometer, sealing of the psychrometer chamber to the leaf, shading of the leaf by the psychrometer and resistance to water vapour diffusion by the cuticle when the stomates are closed. Using Citrus jambhiri, several psychrometer designs and operational modifications were tested. In situ psychrometric measurements compared favourably with simultaneous Scholander pressure chamber measurements on neighbouring leaves, corrected for the osmotic potential and the apparent effect of "xylem tension relaxation" following petiole excision. It is generally assumed that enclosure of a leaf by an in situ thermocouple psychrometer substantially modifies the leaf environment, possibly altering leaf water potential, the quantity to be measured. Furthermore, the time response of leaf psychrometers to sudden leaf water potential changes has not been tested under field conditions. In a laboratory investigation, we found good linear correlation between in situ leaf psychrometer (sealed over abraided area) and Scholander pressure chamber measurements (using adjacent leaves) of leaf water potential, 2 to 200 minutes after excision of citrus leaves. A field investigation involved psychrometric measurement prior to petiole excision, and 1 min after excision, simultaneous pressure chamber measurements on adjacent citrus leaves immediately prior to the time of excision and then on the psychrometer leaf about 2 min after excision. Statistical comparisons indicated that within the first two minutes after excision, psychrometer measurements compared favourably with pressure chamber measurements. There was no evidence for a psychrometer leaf water potential time lag. For the high evaporative demand conditions, water potential decreased after excision by as much as 700 kPa in the first minute. Psychrometer field measurements indicated that within the first 5 min of leaf petiole excision, the decrease in leaf water potential with time was linear but that within the first 15 s, there was a temporary increase of the order of a few tens of kilopascal. The thermocouple psychrometer can be used to measure dynamic changes in leaf water potential non-destructively, with an accuracy that compares favourably with that of the pressure chamber. Using in situ thermocouple leaf hygrometers (dewpoint and psychrometric techniques employed) attached to Citrus jambhiri leaves, an increase in measured water potential immediately following petiole excision was observed. The increase ranged between 20 to 80 kPa and occurred 30 s after petiole excision and 100 s after midrib excisions. No relationship between the actual leaf water potential and the increase in water potential due to excision, was found.
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    Heat and energy exchange above different surfaces using surface renewal.
    (2008) Mengistu, Michael Ghebrekidan.; Savage, Michael John.
    The demand for the world’s increasingly scarce water supply is rising rapidly, challenging its availability for agriculture and other environmental uses, especially in water scarce countries, such as South Africa, with mean annual rainfall is well below the world’s average. The implementation of effective and sustainable water resources management strategies is then imperative, to meet these increasingly growing demands for water. Accurate assessment of evaporation is therefore crucial in agriculture and water resources management. Evaporation may be estimated using different micrometeorological methods, such as eddy covariance (EC), Bowen ratio energy balance (BR), surface renewal (SR), flux variance (FV), and surface layer scintillometry (SLS) methods. Despite the availability of different methods for estimating evaporation, each method has advantages and disadvantages, in terms of accuracy, simplicity, spatial representation, robustness, fetch, and cost. Invoking the shortened surface energy balance equation for which advection and stored canopy heat fluxes are neglected, the measurement of net irradiance, soil heat flux, and sensible heat flux allows the latent energy flux and hence the total evaporation amount to be estimated. The SR method for estimating sensible heat, latent energy, and other scalars has the advantage over other micrometeorological methods since it requires only measurement of the scalar of interest at one point. The SR analysis for estimating sensible heat flux from canopies involves high frequency air temperature measurements (typically 2 to 10 Hz) using 25 to 75 ìm diameter fine-wire thermocouples. The SR method is based on the idea that parcel of air near a surface is renewed by an air parcel from above. The SR method uses the square, cube, and fifth order of two consecutive air temperature differences from different time lags to determine sensible heat flux. Currently, there are three SR analysis approaches: an ideal SR analysis model based on structure function analysis; an SR analysis model with finite micro-front period; and an empirical SR analysis model based on similarity theory. The SR method based on structure function analysis must be calibrated against another standard method, such as the eddy covariance method to determine a weighting factor á which accounts for unequal heating of air parcels below the air temperature sensor height. The SR analysis model based on the finite micro-front time and the empirical SR analysis model based on similarity theory need the additional measurement of wind speed to estimate friction velocity. The weighting factor á depends on measurement height, canopy structure, thermocouple size, and the structure function air temperature lag. For this study, á for various canopy surfaces is determined by plotting the SR sensible heat flux SR H against eddy covariance EC H estimates with a linear fit forced through the origin. This study presents the use of the SR method, previously untested in South Africa, to estimate sensible heat flux density over a variety of surfaces: grassland; Triffid weed (Chromolaena odorata); Outeniqua Yellow wood (Podocarpus Falcatus) forest; heterogeneous surface (Jatropha curcas); and open water surface. The sensible heat flux estimates from the SR method are compared with measurements of sensible heat flux obtained using eddy covariance, Bowen ratio, flux variance, and surface layer scintillometer methods, to investigate the accuracy of the estimates. For all methods used except the Bowen ratio method, evaporation is estimated as a residual using the shortened energy balance from the measured sensible heat and from the additional measurements of net irradiance and soil heat flux density. Sensible heat flux SR H estimated using the SR analysis method based on air temperature structure functions at a height of 0.5 m above a grass canopy with a time lag r = 0.5 s, and á =1 showed very good agreement with the eddy covariance EC H , surface layer scintillometer SLS H , and Bowen ratio BR H estimates. The half-hourly latent energy flux estimates obtained using the SR method SR ë E at 0.5 m above the grass canopy for a time lag r = 0.5 s also showed very good agreement with EC ë E and SLS ë E . The 20-minute averages of SR ë E compared well with Bowen ratio BR ë E estimates. Sensible heat and latent energy fluxes over an alien invasive plant, Triffid weed (C. odorata) were estimated using SR , EC , FV and SLS methods. The performance of the three SR analysis approaches were evaluated for unstable conditions using four time lags r = 0.1, 0.4, 0.5, and 1.0 s. The best results were obtained using the empirical SR method with regression slopes of 0.89 and root mean square error (RMSE) values less than 30 W m-2 at measurement height z = 2.85 and 3.60 m above the soil surface for time lag r = 1.0 s. Half-hourly SR H estimates using r = 1.0 s showed very good agreement with the FV and SLS estimates. The SR latent energy flux, estimated as a residual of the energy balance ë ESR , using time lag r = 1.0 s provided good estimates of EC ë E , FV ë E , and SLS ë E for z = 2.85 and 3.60 m. The performance of the three SR analysis approaches for estimating sensible heat flux above an Outeniqua Yellow wood stand, were evaluated for stable and unstable conditions. Under stable conditions, the SR analysis approach using the micro-front time produced more accurate estimates of SR H than the other two SR analysis approaches. For unstable conditions, the SR analysis approach based on structure functions, corrected for á using EC comparisons produced superior estimates of SR H . An average value of 0.60 is found for á for this study for measurements made in the roughness sublayer. The SR latent energy flux density estimates SR ë E using SR H based on structure function analysis gave very good estimates compared with eddy covariance ( EC ë E ) estimates, with slopes near 1.0 and RMSE values in the range of 30 W m-2. The SR ë E estimates computed using the SR analysis approach using the micro-front time also gave good estimates comparable to EC ë E . The SR and EC methods were used to estimate long-term sensible heat and latent energy flux over a fetch-limited heterogeneous surface (J. curcas). The results show that it is possible to estimate long-term sensible heat and latent energy fluxes using the SR and EC methods over J. curcas. Continuous measurements of canopy height and leaf area index measurements are needed to determine á . The weighting factor á was approximately 1 for placement heights between 0.2 and 0.6 m above the Jatropha tree canopy. The daily sensible heat and latent energy flux estimates using the SR analysis gave excellent estimates of daily EC sensible heat and latent energy fluxes. Measurements of sensible heat and estimates of the latent energy fluxes were made for a small reservoir, using the SR and EC methods. The SR sensible heat flux SR H estimates were evaluated using two air temperature time lags r = 0.4 and 0.8 s at 1.0, 1.3, 1.9, 2.5 m above the water surface. An average á value of 0.175 for time lag r = 0.4 s and 0.188 for r = 0.8 s was obtained. The SR H and EC H estimates were small (-40 to 40 W m-2). The heat stored in water was larger in magnitude (-200 to 200 W m-2) compared to the sensible heat flux. The SR and EC latent energy fluxes were almost the same in magnitude as the available energy, due to the small values of the sensible heat fluxes. The daily evaporation rate ranged between 2.0 and 3.5 mm during the measurement period. The SR method can be used for routine estimation of sensible heat and latent energy fluxes with a reliable accuracy, over a variety of surfaces: short canopies, tall canopies, heterogeneous surface, and open water surface, if the weighting factor á is determined. Alternatively, the SR method can be used to estimate sensible heat flux which is exempt from calibration using the other two SR analysis approaches, with additional measurement of wind speed for estimating friction velocity iteratively. The advantages of the SR method over other micrometeorological methods are the relatively low cost, easy installation and maintenance, relatively low cost for replicate measurements. These investigations may pave the way for the creation of evaporation stations from which real-time and sub-hourly estimates of total evaporation may be obtained relatively inexpensively.
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    Potential for using trees to limit the ingress of water into mine workings : a comparison of total evaporation and soil water relations for eucalyptus and grassland .
    (2003) Jarmain, Caren.; Savage, Michael John.
    Current mining methods used to extract coal from underground mine workings disturb the natural environment and the existing stable geological structures. As a result, the ingress of water into the mines increases and the quality of the water passing through the mine workings deteriorates, irrespective of the operational status of the mines. Water ingress is generated by regional aquifers, local aquifers, recharge from the surface through rainfall, natural drainage paths on the surface, and surface water bodies. The quality of water in the mines deteriorates as a result of contact with the remaining coal in the mine workings. Mining can therefore cause an increased influx of water into a mine and the degradation of this water. The solution to reducing the impact of mines on the environment is to prevent, or at least reduce, the amount of water entering the mines, and to manage this water to prevent further degradation in water quality. This study focused on afforestation with Eucalyptus viminalis trees to manage or inhibit ingress of water into underground mine workings. The hypothesis of this study was that a change in vegetation, from grassland to fast-growing and potentially high water-using trees like Eucalyptus. could possibly reduce the drainage of water below the root-zone and into the mine workings. The hypothesis was tested by estimating the components of the soil water balance for a grassland site and a Eucalyptus tree site. The research site was situated in Mpumalanga, (260 36' Sand 290 08' E, 1650 m a.m.s.l.), one of South Africa's major coal bearing areas. Although the Secunda area is a treeless environment and conditions are not optimal for forestry, some Eucalyptus species are suited for conditions (frost and periodic droughts) encountered in this area. The soil water balance of grassland and E. viminalis trees were studied through a field experiment and a long-term (30 years) modelling exercise. Total evaporation of the grassland site was estimated using the Bowen ratio energy balance technique. The transpiration of six representative E. viminalis trees were estimated using the heat pulse velocity technique. The soil water storage changes at both sites were determined from the soil water content, estimated using water content reflectometers. Measurements were performed in a smectic clay soil which resulted in measurements difficulties. Vertical cracks were formed under soil drying. To establish the importance of climate and plant growth on the drainage beyond the root-zone, the soil water balance of a grassland and an E. viminalis site were simulated over a 30-year period with the Soil Water Atmosphere Plant (SWAP) model. It was concluded from the comparative field experiment and modelling, that a change in vegetation from grassland to E. viminalis will reduce the drainage of water below the root-zone, especially under above-average rainfall conditions. The reduction in drainage beyond the root-zone at the E. viminalis sites, compared to the grassland site, was demonstrated in the modelling exercise and can be deduced from the total evaporation and soil water storage estimated at both sites. The results from the field experiment confirmed the modelling results and showed that usually there were higher transpiration rates for the E. viminalis tree site, compared to the grassland site. The higher transpiration rates for E. viminalis trees resulted in lower relative saturation of soil layers and lower profile soil water contents at the E. viminalis site, and higher daily soil water storage changes at the E. viminalis site compared to the grassland site. These differences were more pronounced during winter when the grassland was dormant. The results from the modelling exercise showed that an E. viminalis tree stand, with a closed canopy, reduced drainage below the root-zone compared to a grassland. The drainage at the grassland site contributed to up to 54 % of the rainfall, compared to the 43 % at the E. viminalis site. However, under below-average rainfall conditions the annual drainage at both sites, were similar. Further, the absolute magnitude of the drainage was similar to the total evaporation at the grassland site under certain conditions. The results not only suggest that a change in vegetation, from grassland to E. viminalis trees, would reduce the drainage beyond the root-zone, but that it may delay the onset of drainage. Under above-average rainfall conditions, the modelled drainage at the E. viminalis site only exceeded 20 mm, a month later than at the grassland site. The simulation results also showed that under conditions of aboveaverage rainfall, drainage occurs whenever the rainfall exceeds the long-term average rainfall, irrespective of the existing vegetation. However, when the rainfall is belowaverage drainage at both sites are limited to large rainfall events. This simulation showed that over a period of eight years, E. viminalis trees could potentially reduce the drainage by 1235 mm more than grassland, which is equivalent to 1540 m3 ha- I a-I, or 1.54 Me ha- I a-I. The annual average reduction in drainage below the root-zone caused by E. viminalis trees (1.79 Mf ha-1 a-\ is a small reduction when compared to the influx of water into mineworkings. E.g. the influx of water into a bord-and-pillar mine range between 0.5 and 4 Mt d-I per area mined and up to 17000 Mt d-I per area mined under high extraction mining (Hodgson and Krantz, 1998; Hodgson et aI., 2001). This work gave a comprehensive account of the differences in the soil water relations of grassland and E. viminalis trees overlying coal mine working. Few other studies in South Africa compared the total evaporation and soil water relations of grassland and E. viminalis trees in so much detail. State of the art monitoring techniques were used and produced valuable comparison of their use in expansive clay profiles. The work should contribute to management decisions focussed on limiting ingress of water into mine workings.
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    Long-term measurements of spatially-averaged sensible heat flux for a mixed grassland community, using surface layer scintillometry.
    (2007) Odhiambo, George O.; Savage, Michael John.
    Evapotransipration by vegetation cover is an important component of the water budget and energy balance in any ecosystem. A key to more improved water management therefore lies in improving our understanding of evapotranspiration, the process that drives water use by plants. Estimations of the turbulent fluxes are required for various applications in micrometeorology, hydrology, environmental studies and agriculture. Numerous methods for estimation of turbulent fluxes have been developed and tested. Direct measurements of fluxes are usually achieved by the eddy covariance (EC) method, which is considered as the most reliable. However, the application of the EC method is often problematic. The necessary sensors for wind, temperature and humidity must respond very fast (resolution of 10 Hz or better) and at the same time must not show noticeable drift. This makes them delicate, expensive and difficult to calibrate among other problems associated with the method. Due to their ability to integrate atmospheric processes along a path length that may range between a few hundred metres to a few kilometres, optical methods based on the analysis of scintillation appear to be an alternative and possible supplement to classical micrometeorological methods such as the EC method, which may provide local fluxes typically at the scale of 100 m. The use of the scintillometry technique in surface flux measurements is therefore gaining in popularity. The accuracy of the measurements obtained by one method is judged by comparison of the measurements obtained by those of another method considered as the standard. For turbulent flux measurements, the EC method is taken as the standard method for the determination of sensible heat fluxes. This research presents the measurement of sensible heat fluxes using the surface layer scintillometer (SLS). The SLS system used has a dual-beam and a recommended path length of between 50 and 250 m. The method was tested against the EC method for different Bowen ratio (f3) values, as required by the theory, under different atmospheric stability conditions, as well as for different wind directions relative to the SLS beam path and slanting beam path orientation. Also presented is an analysis of the different forms of the Monin-Obukhov Similarity (MOST) functions used in micrometeorology and suggested by various authors, done by comparing the resulting sensible heat flux measured by the SLS method with the ones calculated through an iterative determination of the Monin-Obukhov parameters. A comparison of the structure function parameter of temperature (Ci ) corrected for fJ and those measured (using SLS) was carried out, with the results showing very good correspondence between the corrected and uncorrected ci values, indicating that not correcting for fJ for SLS measured ci does not result in significant error in the resulting ci values, and hence sensible heat flux estimates. A comparison of the sensible heat flux Fh obtained using EC and SLS methods for fJ < 0.6 and fJ > 0.6 followed and the results also show good correspondence between the values obtained using the EC and SLS methods, although the agreement is slightly improved for cases when fJ > 0.6. A sensitivity analysis indicates that both the ECand SLS-measurements of Fh are influenced by fJ values. A sensitivity analysis on the influence of fJ on Fh measurements by both the EC and SLS methods further indicates that the influence of fJ on Fh measurements is not large enough to warrant correcting Fh measurements for fJ . The F" measurements by the EC method appears to be influenced more by fJ especially for fJ values less than 0.74. A comparison of the various methods for computing the empirical similarity functions used by MOST was also carried out and the results show a significant difference in the Fh computed following the various methods suggested by different researchers. As for the agreement between the EC and SLS methods determination of Fh for the different atmospheric stability conditions, there seems to be a better agreement in the Fh measurements as noted by correlation coefficients closer to 1 and greater tvalues obtained during unstable atmospheric conditions in the colder months of June and August while reduced agreement in the values is recorded in the warmer summer period from November to December. Also noted is a slight difference in the EC measurements compared to the SLS measurement of F". The difference in the measurements is noticed for unstable atmospheric conditions. Also noted is that EC and SLS measurements of Fh differ slightly when the atmospheric condition is nearneutral. However the agreement between the Fh values measured by the two measurement methods is still good. was set up in an inclined position, with the receiver set at 0.68 m above the ground level and transmitter at 1.68 m, resulting in an effective height difference of 1.00 m. There was generally good agreement in the 2-min measurements of F" by the two methods for the SLS set up in inclined position, with the 30-min data resulting in even better agreements. The findings confirm that the SLS set up does not impair its performance in measuring sensible heat fluxes. This also shows that the SLS would also work well in non-ideal (heterogeneous) conditions which the inclined optical beam path mimics. For those days when wind direction was mainly approximately perpendicular to the beam, the F" values obtained by SLS and EC methods are more in agreement than when the wind direction was either irregular or parallel to the SLS beam path. Wind speed also seems to influence the F" estimates by the two methods since the agreement in the Fh values obtained by the two methods is greater when wind speed is higher compared to times of the day when the wind speed is reduced. The atmospheric stability influences the peak position of footprint with the peak footprint position being further from the measurement point when the atmospheric stability condition is closer to stable as denoted by the Obukhov length of -5 and closer to the measurement point for convectively unstable atmospheric conditions as shown by the Obukhov length of -30. Also shown is that a larger fetch is required when the atmosphere is convectively unstable as indicated by the contours plotted on top of the footprint plots. In general, there seems to be very good agreement in the sensible heat flux values obtained by the two methods, especially since SLS offers areal-averaged sensible heat flux measurements compared to the EC method which basically provides a point measurement. The SLS method therefore offers a better alternative for obtaining sensible heat flux from larger and heterogeneous area - although to a limit of250 m since beyond 250 m, the method suffers from a saturation problem.
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    Sensible heat flux for estimating evaporation.
    (2010) Savage, Michael John.
    The focus of the research is on investigations of various methods for obtaining sensible heat flux (H) for estimating evaporation. The key for this approach is the application of the shortened energy balance equation, and in the case of methods based on the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory (MOST), such as surface-layer scintillometrv and temperature variance with adjusted for stability using air temperature skewness, and surface renewal (SR), die iterative procedures. The application of the shortened energy balance requires that errors associated with measurement of net irradiance (Rnet) and soil heat flux (S) are kept to a minimum To this end. methodology for the calibration of net radiometers for both the infrared and short wave irradiances receive attention. A field study attempts to quantify the error in soil heat flux measurement for a mesic grassland. A standard, convenient and accurate method for calibrating net radiometers would assist in unravelling reasons for the perplexing lack of surface energy balance closure when employing the eddy covariance (EC) flux estimation method as well as improve on the accuracy of the energy balance residual method for estimating evaporation. A relatively inexpensive, accurate and quick laboratory method, based on physical theory, for non-steady radiative conditions above a large water-heated or water-cooled radiator containing circulated water, with surface-embedded thermocouples is used to obtain reproducible net radiometer calibration factor's for the infrared waveband for a wide range in net irradiance. When applied, the method would reduce error m the most important term of the shortened energy balance and assist in energy balance closure aspects of EC measurements. The SLS method, reliant on MOST, is used for estimating a really-averaged H for a mesic grassland for a 30-month period. Comparisons with EC measurements feature prominently in this unique study. These comparisons include using different MOST procedures and the influence of the Bowen ratio on SLS measurement: of if is investigated. Furthermore, since there are reports in the literature that the EC method may underestimate H and or latent energy flux (LE), resulting in the shortened energy balance not being closed, effort is devoted to this aspect. Other methods used for comparison purposes are the traditional Bowen ratio energy balance (BREB), SR, TV and ETo (grass reference) methods. The TV and SLS and/or EC measurements of H are compared above three contrasting canopy surfaces. It is shown that other high frequency air temperature-based methods, for example, for the first time the TV method with adjustment for skewness, may pave the way for evaporation stations from which real-time and sub-hourly estimates may be obtained relatively inexpensively. Another area of research that receives attention is the placement height of EC instruments above short-canopy surfaces and a spectral analysis of the vertical wind speed and some temperature measurement: for close-canopv placement heights. The SR method is used to estimate, for the first time, open-water evaporation. The ideal SR method applied above canopies is the most inexpensive micrometeorological method for estimating H, but the SR weighting factor a needs to be determined using EC and for this reason, the TV method with adjustment for skewness was investigated. Finally, a unique implementation of SR uses an iterative method for calculating H. A similar iterative procedure is applied for MOST and ETo calculations.
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    Sensible heat flux under unstable conditions for sugarcane using temperature variance and surface renewal.
    (2010) Nile, Eltayeb Sulieman.; Savage, Michael John.
    Increased pressure on the available limited water resources for agricultural production has a significant impact on sugarcane production. Routine monitoring of evaporation with reliable accuracy is essential for irrigation scheduling, for more efficient use of the available water resources and for management purposes. An indirect method for estimating evaporation involves measuring the sensible heat flux (H) from which latent energy flux and hence total evaporation can be calculated, as a residual using the shortened energy balance from measurements of net irradiance and soil heat flux. Various methods for measuring H may include Bowen ratio energy balance, eddy covariance (EC), flux variance (FV), optical scintillation, surface renewal (SR) and temperature variance (TV). Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, in terms of method theoretical assumptions, accuracy, complexity, cost, fetch requirements and power consumption. The TV and SR methods are inexpensive and reasonably simple with a reduced power requirement compared to other methods since they require high frequency air temperature data which is obtained by using an unshielded naturally-ventilated type-E fine-wire thermocouple at a single point above the canopy surface. The TV method is based on the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) and uses the mean and standard deviation of the air temperature for each averaging period. Currently, there are two TV methods used for estimating sensible heat flux (HTV) at sub-hourly time intervals, one includes adjustment for stability, and a second that includes adjustment for air temperature skewness. Another method used to estimate sensible heat flux from the mean and standard deviation of air temperature is based on MOST and uses spatial second-order air temperature structure function. For the TV method adjusted for stability and the method based on MOST that uses a spatial second-order air temperature structure function, the Monin-Obukhov atmospheric stability parameter () is needed. The parameter  can be estimated from EC measurements or alternatively estimated independently using an iteration process using horizontal wind speed measurements. The TV method including adjustment for air temperature skewness requires the mean and standard deviation of the air temperature and air temperature skewness for each averaging time period as the only input. The SR method is based on the coherent structure concept. Currently, there are various SR models method for estimating sensible heat flux. These include an ideal SR analysis model method based on an air temperature structure function analysis, the SR analysis model with a finite micro-front period, combined SR with K-theory and combined SR model method based on MOST. The ideal SR analysis model based on an air temperature structure function analysis should be calibrated to determine the SR weighting factor (). The other SR approaches require additional measurements such as crop height and horizontal wind speed measurements. In all of the SR approaches, air temperature time lags are used when calculating the air temperature structure functions. In this study, the performance of TV and SR methods were evaluated for estimation of sensible heat and latent energy fluxes at different heights for air temperature time lags of 0.4 and 0.8 s for daytime unstable conditions against EC above a sugarcane canopy at the Baynesfield Estate in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. For all methods, latent energy flux (LE) and hence evaporation was estimated as a residual from the shortened energy balance equation using H estimates and net irradiance and soil heat flux density measurements. The ideal SR analysis model method based on an air temperature structure function analysis approach was calibrated and validated against the EC method above the sugarcane canopy using non-overlapping data sets for daytime unstable conditions during 2008. During the calibration period, the SR weighting factor was determined for each height and air temperature time lag. The magnitude of ranged from 0.66 to 0.55 for all measurement heights and an air temperature time lag of 0.8 s. The value increased with a decrease in measurement height and an increase in air temperature time lag. For the validation data set, the SR sensible heat flux (HSR) estimates corresponded well with EC sensible heat flux (HEC) for all heights and both air temperature time lags. The agreement between HSR and HEC improved with a decrease in measurement height for the air temperature time lag of 0.8 s. The best HSR vs HEC comparisons were obtained at a height of 0.20 m above the crop canopy using = 0.66 for an air temperature time lag of 0.8 s. The residual estimates of latent energy flux by SR and EC methods were in good agreement. The LESR at a height of 0.20 m above the canopy yielded the best comparisons with LEEC estimated as a residual. The performance of the TV method, including adjustment for stability, and
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    Sensible heat flux and evaporation for sparse vegetation using temperature-variance and a dual-source model.
    (2010) Abraha, Michael Ghebrekristos.; Savage, Michael John.
    The high population growth rate and rapid urbanization that the world is experiencing today has aggravated the competition for the already scarce resource ¡V water ¡V between the agricultural sector and the other economic sectors. Moreover, within the agricultural sector, water is increasingly being used for commercial plantations as opposed to growing food crops, threatening food security. Therefore, it is very important that this scarce resource is managed in an efficient and sustainable manner, for now and future use. This requires understanding the process of evaporation for accurate determination of water-use from agricultural lands. In the past, direct measurements of evaporation have proven difficult because of the cost and complexity of the available equipments, and level of expertise involved. This justifies a quest for relatively simple, accurate and inexpensive methods of determining evaporation for routine field applications. Estimation of sensible heat flux (H) from high frequency air temperature measurements and then calculating latent energy flux (ƒÜE) and hence evaporation as a residual of the shortened surface energy balance equation, assuming that closure is met, is appealing in this sense. Concurrent net irradiance (Rn) and soil heat flux (G) measurements can be conducted with relative ease for use in the energy balance equation. Alternately, evaporation can also be mathematically modelled, using single- or multi-layer models depending on vegetation cover, from less expensive routine meteorological observations. Therefore, the ultimate objective of this study is to estimate and model H and ƒÜE, and thereby evaporation, accurately over sparsely vegetated agricultural lands at low cost and effort. Temperature-variance (TV) and surface renewal (SR) methods, which use high-frequency (typically 2 to 10 Hz) air temperature measurements, are employed for estimation of H. The TV method is based on the Monin and Obukhov Similarity Theory (MOST) and uses statistical measures of the high frequency air temperature to estimate H, including adjustments for stability. The SR method is based on the principle that an air parcel near the surface is renewed by an air parcel from above and, to determine H, it uses higher order air temperature differences between two consecutive sample measurements lagged by a certain time interval. Single- and double-layer models that are based on energy and resistance combination theory were also used to estimate evaporation and H from sparse vegetation. Single- and double-layer models that were extended to include inputs of radiometric temperature in order to estimate H were also used. The transmission of solar irradiance to the soil beneath in sparse canopies is variable and depends on the vegetation density, cover and apparent position of the sun. A three-dimensional radiation interception model was developed to estimate this transmission of solar irradiance and was used as a sub-module in the double-layer models. Estimations of H from the TV (HTV), SR (HSR) and double-layer models were compared against H obtained from eddy covariance (HEC), and the modelled ƒÜE (single- and double-layer) were compared with that obtained from the shortened energy balance involving HEC. Besides, long-term ƒÜE calculated from the shortened energy balance using HTV and HSR were compared with those calculated using HEC. Unshielded and naturally-ventilated fine-wire chromel-constantan thermocouples (TCs), 75 ƒÝm in diameter, at different heights above the ground over sparse Jatropha curcas trees, mixed grassland community and bare fallow land were used to measure air temperature. A three-dimensional sonic anemometer mounted at a certain height above the ground surface was also used to measure virtual temperature and wind speed at all three sites. All measurements were done differentially at 10-Hz frequency. Additional measurements of Rn, G and soil water content (upper 60 mm) were also made. The Jatropha trees were planted in a 3-m plant and inter-row spacing in a 50 m ¡Ñ 60 m plot with the surrounding plots planted to a mixture of Jatropha trees and Kikuyu grass. Average tree height and leaf area index measurements were taken on monthly and bimonthly basis respectively. An automatic weather station about 10 m away from the edge of the Jatropha plot was also used to obtain solar irradiance, air temperature and relative humidity, wind speed and direction and precipitation data. Soil water content was measured to a depth of 1000 mm from the surface at 200 mm intervals. Soil and foliage surface temperatures were measured using two nadir-looking infrared thermometers with one mounted directly above bare soil and the other above the trees. The three-dimensional solar irradiance interception model was validated using measurements conducted on different trees and planting patterns. Solar irradiance above and below tree canopies was measured using LI-200 pyranometer and tube solarimeters respectively. Leaf area density (LAD) was estimated from LAI, canopy shape and volume measurements. It was also determined by scanning leaves using either destructive sampling or tracing method. The performance of the TV method over sparse vegetation of J. curcas, mixed grassland community and fallow land was evaluated against HEC. Atmospheric stability conditions were identified using (i) sensor height (z) and Obukhov length (L) obtained from EC and (ii) air temperature difference between two thermocouple measurement heights. The HTV estimations, adjusted and not adjusted for skewness (actual and estimated) of air temperature (sk), for unstable conditions only and for all stability conditions were used. An improved agreement in terms of slope, coefficient of determination (r2) and root mean square error (RMSE), almost over all surfaces, was obtained when the temperature difference rather than the z/L means of identifying stability conditions was used. The agreement between the HTV and HEC was improved for estimations adjusted for actual sk than not adjusted for sk. Improved agreement was also noted when HTV was adjusted using estimated sk compared to not adjusting for sk over J. curcas. The TV method could be used to estimate H for surfaces with varying homogeneity with reasonable accuracy. Long-term water-use of a fetch-limited sparse vegetation of J. curcas was determined as a residual of the shortened surface energy balance involving HTV and HSR and compared with those estimated using HEC. Concurrent measurements of Rn and G were also performed. The long-term water-use of J. curcas trees calculated from the shortened surface energy balance involving HTV and HSR agreed very well when compared with those obtained from HEC. The seasonal HTV and HSR also agreed very well when compared with HEC. Changes in structure of the canopy and environmental conditions appeared to influence partitioning of the available energy into H and ƒÜE. The seasonal total evaporation for the EC, TV and SR methods amounted to 626, 640 and 674 mm respectively with a total rainfall of 690 mm. Footprint analysis also revealed that greater than 80% of the measured flux during the day originates from within the surface of interest. The TV and SR methods, therefore, offer a relatively low-cost means for long-term estimation of H, and ƒÜE, hence the total evaporation, using the shortened surface energy balance along with measurements of Rn and G. Evaporation and biomass production estimations from tree crops requires accurate representation of solar irradiance transmission through the canopy. A relatively simple three-dimensional, hourly time-step tree-canopy radiation interception model was developed and validated using measurements conducted on isolated trees, hedgerows and tree canopies arranged in tramline mode. Measurements were obtained using tube solarimeters placed 0.5 m from each other starting from the base of a tree trunk in four directions, along and perpendicular to the row up to mid-way between trees and rows. Model-simulations of hourly radiant transmittance were in good agreement with measurements with an overall r2 of 0.91; Willmott.s index of agreement of 0.96; and general absolute standard deviation of 17.66%. Agreement between model-estimations and measurements, however, was influenced by distance and direction of the node from the tree trunk, sky conditions, symmetry of the canopy, and uniformity of the stand and leaf distribution of the canopy. The model could be useful in planning and management applications for a wide range of tree crops. Penman-Monteith (PM) equation and the Shuttleworth and Wallace (SW) model, representing single- and dual-source models respectively, were used to determine the total evaporation over a sparse vegetation of J. curcas from routine automatic weather station observations, resistance parameters and vegetation indices. The three-dimensional solar irradiance interception model was used as a sub-module in the SW model. The total evaporation from the sparse vegetation was also determined as a residual of the shortened surface energy balance using measurements of Rn, G and HEC. The PM equation failed to reproduce the .measured. daily total evaporation during periods of low LAI, with improved agreement with increased LAI. The SW model, however, produced total evaporation estimates that agreed very well with the .measured. with a slope of 0.96, r2 of 0.91 and RMSE of 0.45 mm for a LAI ranging from 0 (no leaves) to 1.83 m2 m-2. The SW model also estimated soil evaporation and plant transpiration separately, and about 66 % of the cumulative evaporation was attributed to soil evaporation. These findings suggest that the PM equation should be replaced by the SW model for surfaces that assume a range of LAI values during the growing season. The H was estimated using (i) SW model that was further developed to include surface radiometric temperature measurements; (ii) one-layer model, but linked with a two-layer model for estimation of excess resistance, that uses surface radiometric temperature; and (iii) the SW model (unmodified). The agreement between modelled and measured H, using 10-min data, was in general reasonably good with RMSE (W m-2) of 45.11, 43.77 and 39.86 for the three models respectively. The comparative results that were achieved from (iii) were not translated into the daily data as all models appeared to have a tendency to underestimate H. The resulting RMSEs for the daily H data for the three models were (MJ m-2) 1.16, 1.17 and 1.18 respectively. It appears that similar or better agreement between measured and estimated H can be forged without the need for surface radiometric temperature measurements. The study showed, in general, that high frequency air temperature measurements can be used to estimate H with reasonable accuracy using the simple and relatively low-cost TV and SR methods. Moreover, these methods can be used to calculate ƒÜE, hence ET, as a residual of the shortened surface energy balance equation along with measurements of Rn and G assuming that energy balance closure is met. The simple and low-cost nature of these methods makes replication of measurements easier and their robust nature allows long-term measurements of energy fluxes. The study also showed that H and ƒÜE can be modeled using energy and resistance combination equations with reasonable accuracy. It also reiterated that the SW-type models, which treat the plant canopy and soil components separately, are more appropriate for estimation of H and ƒÜE over sparse vegetation as opposed to the PM-type models.
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