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TitleThe Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS): an overview and early results from the 1994 field year
AuthorSellers, P; Hall, F; Margolis, H; Kelly, R; Baldocchi, D; den Hartog, G; Cihlar, J; Ryan, M G; Goodison, B; Crill, P; Ranson, K J; Lettenmaier, D; Wickland, D E
SourceBoreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study - BOREAS; Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society vol. 76, no. 9, 1995 p. 1549-1577,<1549:TBESAO>2.0.CO;2 Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20041994
PublisherAmerican Meteorological Society
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader)
ProvinceManitoba; Saskatchewan
Areacentral Saskatchewan; northwestern Manitoba
Subjectsremote sensing; satellites; LANDSAT imagery; radar imagery; ecosystems; vegetation; carbon dioxide; computer simulations; models; hydrologic budget; meteorology; synthetic aperture radar surveys (SAR); Water
Illustrationsflow charts; schematic diagrams; sketch maps; bar graphs; tables; photographs; charts; plots; time series; profiles; remotely sensed images
ProgramBoreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS)
ProgramGlobal Change Program
ProgramWorld Climate Research Programme
ProgramInternational Geosphere - Biosphere Program
AbstractThe Boreal Ecosystem Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) is a large-scale international field experiment that has the goal of improving our understanding of the exchanges of radiative energy, heat, water, CO2, and trace gases between the boreal forest and the lower atmosphere. An important objective of BOREAS is to collect the data needed to improve computer simulation models of the processes controlling these exchanges so that scientists can anticipate the effects of global change.
From August 1993 through September 1994, a continuous set of monitoring measurements - meteorology, hydrology, and satellite remote sensing - where gathered over the 1000 x 1000 km BOREAS study region that covers most of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada. This monitoring program was punctuated by six campaigns that saw the deployment of some 300 scientists and aircrew into the field, supported by 11 research aircraft. The participants were drawn primarily from U.S. and Canadian agencies and universities, although there were also important contributions from France, the United Kingdom, and Russia. The field campaigns lasted for a total of 123 days and saw the compilation of a comprehensive surface-atmosphere flux dataset supported by ecological, trace gas, hydrological, and remote sensing science observations. The surface-atmosphere fluxes of sensible heat, latent heat, CO2, and momentum were measured using eddy correlation equipment mounted on a surface network of 10 towers complemented by four flux-measurement aircraft. All in all, over 350 airborne missions (remote sensing and eddy correlation) were flown during the 1994 field year.
Preliminary analyses of the data indicate that the area-averaged photosynthetic capacity of the boreal forest is much less than that of the temperate forests to the south. This reflected in very low photosynthetic and carbon drawdown rated, which in turn are associated with low transpiration rates (less that 2 mm day -1 over the growing season for the coniferous species in the area). The strong sensible fluxes generated as a result of this often lead to the development of a deep dry planetary boundary layer over the forest, particularly during the spring and early summer. The effects of frozen soils and the strong physiological control of evapotranspiration in the biome do not seem to be will represented in most operational general circulation models of the atmosphere.
Analysis of the data will continue through 1995 and 1996. Some limited revisits to the field are anticipated.

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