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Open AccessArticle

Numerical Simulations of the Impacts of Mountain on Oasis Effects in Arid Central Asia

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State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 818 South Beijing Road, Urumqi 830011, China
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Department of Geography, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, S8, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
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University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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Sino-Belgian Joint Laboratory for Geo-information, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Sino-Belgian Joint Laboratory for Geo-information, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Urumqi 830011, China
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Royal Meteorological Institute, Avenue Circulaire 3, B-1180 Brussels, Belgium
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Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8110212
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land - Atmosphere Interactions)
The oases in the mountain-basin systems of Central Asia are extremely fragile. Investigating oasis effects and oasis-desert interactions is important for understanding the ecological stability of oases. However, previous studies have been performed only in oasis-desert environments and have not considered the impacts of mountains. In this study, oasis effects were explored in the context of mountain effects in the northern Tianshan Mountains (NTM) using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Four numerical simulations are performed. The def simulation uses the default terrestrial datasets provided by the WRF model. The mod simulation uses actual terrestrial datasets from satellite products. The non-oasis simulation is a scenario simulation in which oasis areas are replaced by desert conditions, while all other conditions are the same as the mod simulation. Finally, the non-mountain simulation is a scenario simulation in which the elevation values of all grids are set to a constant value of 300 m, while all other conditions are the same as in the mod simulation. The mod simulation agrees well with near-surface measurements of temperature, relative humidity and latent heat flux. The Tianshan Mountains exert a cooling and wetting effects in the NTM region. The oasis breeze circulation (OBC) between oases and the deserts is counteracted by the stronger background circulation. Thus, the self-supporting mechanism of oases originating from the OBC plays a limited role in maintaining the ecological stability of oases in this mountain-basin system. However, the mountain wind causes the “cold-wet’’ island effects of the oases to extend into the oasis-desert transition zone at night, which is beneficial for plants in the transition region. View Full-Text
Keywords: oasis effects; mountain-basin system; oasis breeze circulation; mountain-valley wind; WRF; Central Asia arid area oasis effects; mountain-basin system; oasis breeze circulation; mountain-valley wind; WRF; Central Asia arid area
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Zhang, M.; Luo, G.; Hamdi, R.; Qiu, Y.; Wang, X.; Maeyer, P.D.; Kurban, A. Numerical Simulations of the Impacts of Mountain on Oasis Effects in Arid Central Asia. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 212.

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