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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Errors Associated with the Combination Method for Estimating Soil Heat Flux


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 57 No. 5, p. 1198-1202
    Received: Nov 23, 1992

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. W. J. Massman 
  1. U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Station, 240 W. Prospect, Fort Collins, CO 80526



Errors are common to all methods of measuring soil heat flux. This study examines some of the errors that result when estimating the heat storage term (employed by the combination method) from measurements of the time rate of change of soil temperatures. Based on analytical models of the vertical profiles of soil temperature, my results indicate that errors of ±3 to 10% in the estimate of soil beat flux can result from following recommended procedures. For homogenous soils, these errors can be reduced by about 67% using two soil thermometers with unequal weighting to estimate the heat storage term. However, minimizing these errors for inhomogeneous soils may not be possible without detailed information on the vertical structure of the soil thermal properties.

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