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Linking scales of motion in the atmosphere to variation in the surface below
  • Ankur Desai
Ankur Desai
University of Wisconsin Madison

Corresponding Author:desai@aos.wisc.edu

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The surface is the interface through which the bedrock interacts with the boundary-layer. Here, living organisms of various shapes, sizes, and function intermingle with the mineral soil, organic residue, and canopy air space that reside there. Together, they breath, absorb momentum, exchange water and gases, and bask in the heat from the sun and clouds above and thermal reservoirs below. While many of these functions are well understood, we knew less about how those functions operate and behave at different spatial and time scales. More intriguing, surface variance with scale influences scales of motion in the atmosphere. Here, I present a generalized look at how land and atmosphere scales interact, focusing on the lens of the surface energy budget. These processes are investigated through intensive measurements and high-resolution models conducted at the CHEESEHEAD19 field experiment in Wisconsin. A combination of airborne and tower eddy covariance networks, drone and airborne canopy imaging, and turbulence resolving simulations reveal persistent mesoscale contributions in the atmosphere enabled by surface heterogeneity.