Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Estimating fog deposition at a Puerto Rican elfin cloud forest site: comparison of the water budget and eddy covariance methods.

Authors: 
Holwerda, F., Burkard, R., Eugster, W., Scatena, F.N., Meesters, A.G., Bruijnzeel, L.A.
Year: 
2 006
Source: 
Hydrological processes
Abstract: 
The deposition of fog to a wind-exposed 3 m tall Puerto Rican cloud forest at 1010 m elevation was studied using the water budget and eddy covariance methods. Fog deposition was calculated from the water budget as throughfall plus stemflow plus interception loss minus rainfall corrected for wind-induced loss and effect of slope. The eddy covariance method was used to calculate the turbulent liquid cloud water flux from instantaneous turbulent deviations of the surface-normal wind component and cloud liquid water content as measured at 4 m above the forest canopy. Fog deposition rates according to the water budget under rain-free conditions (0·11 ± 0·05 mm h−1) and rainy conditions (0·24 ± 0·13 mm h−1) were about three to six times the eddy-covariance-based estimate (0·04 ± 0·002 mm h−1). Under rain-free conditions, water-budget-based fog deposition rates were positively correlated with horizontal fluxes of liquid cloud water (as calculated from wind speed and liquid water content data). Under rainy conditions, the correlation became very poor, presumably because of errors in the corrected rainfall amounts and very high spatial variability in throughfall. It was demonstrated that the turbulent liquid cloud water fluxes as measured at 4 m above the forest could be only ∼40% of the fluxes at the canopy level itself due to condensation of moisture in air moving upslope. Other factors, which may have contributed to the discrepancy in results obtained with the two methods, were related to effects of footprint mismatch and methodological problems with rainfall measurements under the prevailing windy conditions. Best estimates of annual fog deposition amounted to ∼770 mm year−1 for the summit cloud forest just below the ridge top (according to the water budget method) and ∼785 mm year−1 for the cloud forest on the lower windward slope (using the eddy-covariance-based deposition rate corrected for estimated vertical flux divergence). Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Department of Earth and Environmental Science / University of Pennsylvania, 251 Hayden Hall, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316