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Atmosphere 2016, 7(8), 107; doi:10.3390/atmos7080107

Effects of Plastic Mulch on Soil Heat Flux and Energy Balance in a Cotton Field in Northwest China

Department of Hydraulic Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert W. Talbot
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 10 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
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Surface energy balance (SEB) is a basic principle for all of the atmospheric circulation models, and surface soil heat flux (G0) is an important component of energy balance. Plastic mulch is widely used in arid regions and alters land surface processes. In this study, hourly/daily G0 and SEB over a mulched cotton field were analyzed in Northwest China. The net radiation beneath the mulch was simulated using transmitted down short-wave and down long-wave radiation through the mulch and up short-wave and up long-wave radiation from the soil beneath mulch. The results show that: (1) on the hourly time scale, G0 in mulched soil is much smaller than that in non-mulched soil, day and night. This implies that mulch prevents energy going into the soil during the daytime and reduces soil heat loss at night. On the daily time scale, G0 is similar in mulched and non-mulched soil. (2) During the seedling emergence period when the cotton is small, the energy balance closure over mulched soil (0.79) is slightly smaller than that over non-mulched soil (0.81). (3) Comparing to soil temperature in non-mulched soil, there’s a time offset on soil temperature in mulched soil at the same depth, which will bring a hysteresis on G0 and SEB. View Full-Text
Keywords: plastic mulch; surface soil heat flux; energy balance; arid area plastic mulch; surface soil heat flux; energy balance; arid area

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, N.; Tian, F.; Hu, H.; Lu, H.; Ming, G. Effects of Plastic Mulch on Soil Heat Flux and Energy Balance in a Cotton Field in Northwest China. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 107.

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