Turbulent fluxes of momentum and heat over land in the High- Arctic summer: the influence of observation techniques

  • Anna Sjöblom The University Centre in Svalbard
Keywords: Turbulent fluxes, Svalbard, Arctic, observation techniques, surface energy budget


Different observation techniques for atmospheric turbulent fluxes of momentum and sensible heat were tested in a High-Arctic valley in Svalbard during two consecutive summers (June–August in 2010 and 2011). The gradient method (GM) and the bulk method (BM) have been compared to the more direct eddy covariance method (ECM) in order to evaluate if relatively robust and cheap instrumentation with low power consumption can be used as a means to increase the number of observations, especially at remote locations where instruments need to be left unattended for extended periods. Such campaigns increase knowledge about the snow-free surface exchange processes, an area which is relatively little investigated compared to snow-covered ground. The GM agreed closely to the ECM, especially for momentum flux where the two methods agree within 5%. For sensible heat flux, the GM produces, on average, approximately 40% lower values for unstable stratification and 67% lower for stable stratification. However, this corresponds to only 20 and 12 W m−2, respectively. The BM, however, shows a greater scatter and larger differences for both parameters. In addition to testing these methods, radiation properties were measured and the surface albedo was found to increase through the summer, from approximately 0.1 to 0.2. The surface energy budget shows that the sensible heat flux is usually directed upwards for the whole summer, while the latent heat flux is upwards in June, but becomes downward in July and August.

Keywords: Turbulent fluxes; Svalbard; Arctic; observation techniques; surface energy budget.

(Published: 30 June 2014)

Citation: Polar Research 2014, 33, 21567, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/polar.v33.21567


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Author Biography

Anna Sjöblom, The University Centre in Svalbard

Arctic Geophysics,

Associate Professor

How to Cite
Sjöblom, A. (2014). Turbulent fluxes of momentum and heat over land in the High- Arctic summer: the influence of observation techniques. Polar Research, 33. https://doi.org/10.3402/polar.v33.21567
Research/review articles