• M S Roxy

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Variability of soil moisture and its relationship with surface albedo and soil thermal diffusivity at Astronomical Observatory, Thiruvananthapuram, south Kerala

      M S Roxy V B Sumithranand G Renuka

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      Continuous observation data collected over the year 2008 at Astronomical Observatory, Thiruvananthapuram in south Kerala (76° 59′E longitude and 8° 30′N latitude) are used to study the diurnal, monthly and seasonal soil moisture variations. The effect of rainfall on diurnal and seasonal soil moisture is discussed. We have investigated relationships of soil moisture with surface albedo and soil thermal diffusivity. The diurnal variation of surface albedo appears as a U-shaped curve on sunny days. Surface albedo decreases with the increase of solar elevation angle, and it tends to be a constant when solar elevation angle is greater than 40°. So the daily average surface albedo was calculated using the data when solar elevation angle is greater than 40°. The results indicate that the mean daily surface albedo decreases with increases in soil moisture content, showing a typical exponential relation between the surface albedo and the soil moisture. Soil thermal diffusivity increases firstly and then decreases with the increase of soil moisture.

    • Soil heat flux and day time surface energy balance closure at astronomical observatory, Thiruvananthapuram, south Kerala

      M S Roxy V B Sumithranand G Renuka

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      Soil heat flux is an important input component of surface energy balance. Estimates of soil heat flux were made in the year 2008 using soil temperature data at Astronomical Observatory, Thiruvananthapuram, south Kerala. Hourly values of soil heat flux from 00 to 24 LST are presented for selected days typical of the winter, pre-monsoon, SW monsoon and NE monsoon seasons. The diurnal variation is characterized by a cross-over from negative to positive values at 0700 h, occurrence of maximum around noon and return to negative values in the late evening. The energy storage term for the soil layer 0–0.05 m is calculated and the ground heat flux 𝐺∗ is estimated in all seasons. Daytime surface energy balance at the surface on wet and dry seasons is investigated. The average Bowen’s ratio during the wet and dry seasons were 0.541 and 0.515, respectively indicating that considerable evaporation takes place at the surface. The separate energy balance components were examined and the mean surface energy balance closure was found to be 0.742 and 0.795 for wet and dry seasons, respectively. When a new method that accounts for both soil thermal conduction and soil thermal convection was adopted to calculate the surface heat flux, the energy balance closure was found to be improved. Thus on the land surface under study, the soil vertical water movement is significant.

    • Estimation of soil moisture and its effect on soil thermal characteristics at Astronomical Observatory, Thiruvananthapuram, south Kerala

      M S Roxy V B Sumithranand G Renuka

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      Soil moisture is an important parameter of the earth’s climate system. Regression model for estimation of soil moisture at various depths has been developed using the amount of moisture near the surface layer. The estimated values of soil moisture are tested with the measured moisture values and it is found that the estimations are comparable with the observations. The variation of soil thermal properties with the amount of moisture in isohyperthermic ultisols has been investigated at a tropical site in south Kerala for the year 2008. The soil temperatures at 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.30, and 0.50 m depths and soil moisture at 0.05 and 0.10 m are measured using the hydrometeorological data acquisition system installed at the observational site. For soil water contents ranging between 11 and 42% in the soil layer of depth 0.05–0.10 m, the mean values of the heat capacity, thermal diffusivity, thermal conductivity, and thermal admittance obtained were 2.2466 × 10−6 Jm−3K−1, 0.4238 × 10−6 m2s−1, 0.9658 Wm−1K−1, 2.1517 Jm−2s−1/2K−1, respectively. The magnitudes of the diurnal soil thermal parameters showed strong association with the levels of the water content. The thermal diffusivity was found to increase with the amount of soil moisture, up to about 22% of the volumetric water content, but fell as the water content further increases. Similar patterns of the soil moisture levels were noticeable both for the thermal conductivity and admittance.

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