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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-322
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-322
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 07 May 2019

Research article | 07 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Detection of land surface induced atmospheric water vapor patterns

Tobias Marke, Ulrich Löhnert, Vera Schemann, and Susanne Crewell Tobias Marke et al.
  • Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Germany

Abstract. Finding observational evidence of land surface atmosphere interactions is crucial for understanding the spatial and temporal evolution of the boundary layer, as well as for model evaluation, in particular large-eddy simulation (LES) models. In this study, the influence of a heterogeneous land surface on the spatial distribution of atmospheric water vapor is assessed. Ground-based remote sensing measurements of a scanning microwave radiometer (MWR) are used in a long-term study over six years to characterize spatial heterogeneities in integrated water vapor (IWV) during clear sky conditions at the Jülich Observatory for Cloud Evolution (JOYCE). The resulting deviations from the mean of the scans reveal a direction-dependent IWV that is visible throughout the day. Comparisons to a satellite derived spatial IWV distribution show a good agreement for a selection of 61 satellite overpasses during convective situations. With the help of a land use type classification and information on the topography, the main type for the regions with a positive IWV deviation was determined to be agricultural fields and nearby open pit mines. Negative deviations occurred mainly above elevated forests and urban areas. The observational results are in agreement with a high resolution large-eddy simulation (LES), which was used in addition to investigate changes in surface fluxes and the water vapor and cloud field for an altered land use input.

Tobias Marke et al.
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Tobias Marke et al.
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Latest update: 26 May 2019
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Short summary
In this study, land surface atmosphere interactions are addressed using ground-based remote sensing, satellite products and high-resolution large-eddy simulations. The focus is on water vapor transport from the surface into the atmosphere. Patterns found in long-term observations can be linked to properties of the surrounding land surface. The simulation results suggest that a different distribution of land use types has implications for boundary layer characteristics and clouds.
In this study, land surface atmosphere interactions are addressed using ground-based remote...
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