Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 117–129 | Cite as

Variation of surface albedo and soil thermal parameters with soil moisture content at a semi-desert site on the western Tibetan Plateau

  • Kaicun Wang
  • Pucai Wang
  • Jingmiao Liu
  • Michael Sparrow
  • Shigenori Haginoya
  • Xiuji Zhou


Almost three years of continuous measurements taken between January 2001 and May 2003 at the Gaize (or Gerze) automatic weather station (32.30 °N, 84.06 °E, 4420 m), a cold semi-desert site on the western Tibetan Plateau, have been used to study seasonal and annual variations of surface albedo and soil thermal parameters, such as thermal conductivity, thermal capacity and thermal diffusivity, and their relationship to soil moisture content. Most of these parameters undergo dramatic seasonal and annual variations. Surface albedo decreases with increasing soil moisture content, showing the typical exponential relation between surface albedo and soil moisture. Soil thermal conductivity increases as a power function of soil moisture content. The diffusivity first increases with increasing soil moisture, reaching its maximum at about 0.25 (volume per volume), then slowly decreases. Soil thermal capacity is rather stable for a wide range of soil moisture content.


Albedo Energy and water cycle Soil moisture Soil thermal capacity Soil thermal conductivity Soil thermal diffusivity 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. David B., Lobell., Gregory P., Asner. 2002Moisture Effects on Soil ReflectanceSoil Sci. Soc. Amer. J66722727Google Scholar
  2. Dickinson R.E. (1995). Land-Atmosphere Interaction, U.S. Nation Report to International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics 1991–1994, pp. 917–922.Google Scholar
  3. Vries, D.A. 1963Thermal Properties of SoilsVan Wijk, W.R. eds. Physics of Plant EnvironmentNorth Holland Publishing CoNorth-Holland, Amsterdam594Google Scholar
  4. Vries, D.A. 1975Heat transfer in soilVries, D.A.Afgan, N.H. eds. Heat and Mass Transfer in BiosphereScripta Book CoWashington, DC528Google Scholar
  5. Garratt, J.R. 1992The Atmospheric Boundary LayerCambridge University PressCambridge316Google Scholar
  6. Handerson-Sellers, A. 1993The Project for Inter-Comparison of Land-Surface Parameterization SchemesBull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc7413351348Google Scholar
  7. Hillel, D. 1998Environmental Soil PhysicsAcademic PressLondon771Google Scholar
  8. Hoffer, R.M, Johannsen, C.J. 1969Ecological Potential in Spectral Signatures Analysis, Remote Sensing in EcologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthens (GA)116Google Scholar
  9. Hu, Y., Yang, X, Zhang, Q. 1992The Characteristics of Energy Budget on the Gobi and Desert Surface in Hexi RegionACTA Meteorol. Sinica268291Google Scholar
  10. Li, J., Hong, Z, Luo, W.,  et al. 1999A Study of Surface Fluxes in Gaize Area, Tibetan PlateauChinese. J. Atmos. Sci23142151(in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  11. Li, J., Hong, Z, Sun, S. 2000An Observational Experiment on the Atmospheric Boundary Layer in Gaize Area of the Tibetan PlateauChinese. J. Atmos. Sci24301312(in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  12. Liang, S., Townshend, J.R.G. 1996A Modified Hapke Model for Soil Bidirectional ReflectanceRemote Sens. Environ55110Google Scholar
  13. Liu, H., Hong, Z. 2000Turbulent Characteristics in the Surface Layer over Gaize area in the Tibetan PlateauChinese. J. Atmos. Sci24289300(in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  14. Liu, W.-D., Baret, F., Gu, X.-F., Tong, Q.-X., Zheng, L.-F, Zhang, B. 2002Relating to Surface Moisture to ReflectanceRemote Sens. Environ81238246Google Scholar
  15. Liu, W.-D., Baret, F., Gu, X.-F., Zhang, B., Tong, Q.-X, Zheng, L.-F. 2003Evaluation of Method for Soil Surface Moisture Estimation from Reflectance DataInt. J. Remote Sens2420692083Google Scholar
  16. Marshall, T.J., Holmes, J.W. 1979Soil PhysicsCambridge University PressU.K345Google Scholar
  17. Marty, C., Philipona, R. 2000, 1979The Clear-Sky Index to Separate Clear Sky from Cloudy-Sky Situations in Climate ResearchGeophys. Res. Lett2726492652Google Scholar
  18. Oke, T.R. 1978Boundary Layer ClimateMethuenLondon and COLTD, New York435Google Scholar
  19. Philip, J.R. 1957Evaporation, and Moisture and Heat Fields in the SoilJ. Meteorol14354366Google Scholar
  20. Pielke, R.A. 1984Mesoscale Meteorological ModelingAcademic PressNew York, U.S.AGoogle Scholar
  21. Sellers, W.D. 1965Physcial ClimatologyUniversity of Chicago PressChicago, U.S.A272612Google Scholar
  22. Stull, R.B. 1988An Introduction to Boundary Layer MeteorologyKluwer Academic PublisherDordrecht, the Netherlands643Google Scholar
  23. Tzeng, R.Y., Lee, Y.H. 2001The Effects of Land Surface Characteristics on the East Asian Summer MonsoonClim. Dyn17317326Google Scholar
  24. Tomoaki, Ose. 1998Seasonal Change of Asian Summer Monsoon Circulation and its Heat SourceJ. Meteorol. Soc. Japan7610451063Google Scholar
  25. Wang, K., Liu, J., Zhou, X., Sparrow, M., Ma, M., Sun, Z. and Jiang W. (2004). Validation of the MODIS Global Land Surface Albedo Product Using Ground Measurements in a Semi-desert Region on the Tibetan Plateau. J. Geophys. Res. 109, D05107, doi: 10.1029/2003JD004229.Google Scholar
  26. Wu, G.X., Zhang, Y.S. 1998Tibetan Plateau Forcing and Asian Monsoon Onset over South Asia and South China SeaMon. Wea. Rev126913927Google Scholar
  27. Xu, J., Haginoya, S. 2001An Estimation of Heat and Water Balances in the Tibetan PlateauJ. Meteorol. Soc. Japan79485504Google Scholar
  28. Xu, X., Zhou, L., Zhang, S., Miao, Q. 2003Characteristics of the Correlation between Regional Water Vapor Transport along with the Convective Action and Variation of the Pacific Subtropical High in 1998Adv. Atmos. Sci20269283Google Scholar
  29. Yanai, M., Li, C., Song, Z. 1992Seasonal Heating of the Tibetan Plateau and Its Effects on the Evolution of the Asian Summer MonsoonJ. Meteorol. Soc. Japan70319352Google Scholar
  30. Yanai, M., Li, C. 1994Mechanism of Heating and the Boundary Layer over the Tibetan PlateauMon. Wea. Rev122305323Google Scholar
  31. Ye, D., Gao, Y. 1979Tibetan Plateau MeteorologyScience PressBeijing89101(in Chinese)Google Scholar
  32. Ye, D, Wu, G.-X. 1998The Role of the Heat Source of the Tibetan Plateau in the General CirculationMeteorol. Atmos. Phys67181198Google Scholar
  33. Yu, J., Liu, J., Ding, Y, Shigenori, H.,  et al. 2002Characteristics of Surface Fluxes in Western Area of Tibetan PlateauTao, S.Chen, L.Xu, X. eds. The Second Tibetan Plateau Experiment of Atmospheric Sciences TIPEX-GAME/TIBETChina Meteorology PressBeijing711Google Scholar
  34. Zhang, Q., Huang, R. 2004Parameters of Land-Surface Process for Gobi in North-West ChinaBoundary-Layer Meteorol110471478Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaicun Wang
    • 1
  • Pucai Wang
    • 1
  • Jingmiao Liu
    • 2
  • Michael Sparrow
    • 3
  • Shigenori Haginoya
    • 4
  • Xiuji Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.LAGEO, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP.R. China
  2. 2.Chinese Academy of Meteorological SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.International CLIVAR Project OfficeSouthampton Oceanography CentreSouthamptonU.K
  4. 4.Meteorological Research InstituteTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations