Atmosphere-Surface Exchange Measurements

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Science  04 Jun 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5113, pp. 1472-1481
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5113.1472


The exchange of various trace species and energy at the earth's surface plays an important role in climate, ecology, and human health and welfare. Surface exchange measurements can be difficult to obtain yet are important to understand physical processes, assess environmental and global change impacts, and develop robust parameterizations of atmospheric processes. The physics and turbulent structure of the atmospheric boundary layer are reviewed as they contribute to dry surface exchange rates (fluxes). Micrometeorological, budget, and enclosure techniques used to measure or estimate surface fluxes are described, along with their respective advantages and limitations. Various measurement issues (such as site characteristics, sampling considerations, sensor attributes, and flow distortion) impact on the ability to obtain representative surface-based and airborne flux data.