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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-302
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-302
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  27 Aug 2020

27 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Water vapor density and turbulent fluxes from three generations of infrared gas analyzers

Seth Kutikoff1, Xiaomao Lin1, Steven R. Evett2, Prasanna Gowda3, David Brauer2, Jed Moorhead2, Gary Marek2, Paul Colaizzi2, Robert Aiken1, Liukang Xu4, and Clenton Owensby1 Seth Kutikoff et al.
  • 1Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS, 66506, USA
  • 2USDA-ARS Conservation & Production Research Lab, 300 Simmons Road, Unit 10, Bushland, TX, 79012, USA
  • 3USDA-ARS 141 Experiment Station Road, Stoneville, MS, 38776, USA
  • 4LI-COR Bioscience, 4647 Superior Street, Lincoln, NE, 68504, USA

Abstract. Fast-response infrared gas analyzers (IRGAs) have been widely used over three decades in many ecosystems for long-term monitoring of water vapor fluxes in the surface layer of the atmosphere. While some of the early IRGA sensors are still used in these national and/or regional eco-flux networks, optically-improved IRGA sensors are newly employed in the same networks. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of water vapor density and flux data from three generations of IRGAs – LI-7500, LI-7500A, and LI-7500RS (LI-COR Bioscience, Inc., Nebraska, USA) – over the course of a growing season in Bushland, Texas, USA in an irrigated maize canopy for 90 days. The energy balance ratio, which is the sum of turbulent fluxes divided by the sum of surface available energy, was used to assess systematic biases of the IRGA sensors for evapotranspiration (ET). Water vapor density measurements were in generally good agreement, but temporal drift occurred in different directions and magnitudes. Means exhibited mostly shift changes that did not impact the flux magnitudes, while variances of water vapor density fluctuations were occasionally in poor agreement, especially following rainfall events. LI-7500 variances were largest compared to recent LI-7500RS and LI-7500A results manifesting in widened cospectra, especially under unstable and neutral static stability. Agreement among the sensors was best under the typical irrigation-cooled boundary layer, with a 14 % interinstrument coefficient of variability under advective conditions. Generally, the smallest variances occurred with the LI-7500RS, and high-frequency spectral corrections were larger for these measurements resulting in similar fluxes between the LI-7500A and LI-7500RS. Fluxes from the LI-7500 were best representative of growing season ET based on a world-class lysimeter reference measurement but using the energy balance ratio as an estimate of systematic bias corrected most of the differences among measured fluxes.

Seth Kutikoff et al.

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Seth Kutikoff et al.

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Short summary
Fast-response infrared gas sensors have been used over three decades for long-term monitoring of water vapor fluxes. As optically-improved infrared gas sensors are newly employed, we evaluated the performance of water vapor density and flux data from three generations of infrared gas sensors in Bushland, Texas, USA. From our experiments, fluxes from the old version sensors were best representative of evapotranspiration based on a world-class lysimeter reference measurement.
Fast-response infrared gas sensors have been used over three decades for long-term monitoring of...
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