Bowen ratio determination of sensible and latent heat fluxes in a humid tropical environment at Ile- Ife, Nigeria
Keywords:Bowen ratio, Surface energy budgets, Humid tropics, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
The Bowen ratio energy balance (BREB) method is the most widely used for estimating the fluxes of sensible heat and latent heat near the surface largely because of its conceptual simplicity and the robustness of instrumentation required. We have adopted the same technique here to study partitioning of measured available energy (difference of net radiation and soil heat flux) over bare soil at a humid tropical location in Ile-Ife, Nigeria (7° 33' N, 4° 34' E) between 7 and 10 March, 1999. Results obtained of the diurnal variations of the both fluxes in relation to the changing surface conditions (case studies) are quite satisfactory. For dry days, the sensible heat flux is comparatively of the same magnitude as the latent heat flux but it is less, about 10-60% for the wet surface conditions. It is clear from the present study that for the tropical forest zone, evaporation is the next important factor after radiation in the energy balance due to the humid conditions that usually prevail. Except for the few instances when very weak gradients exist, particularly of moisture, during transition periods (at sunrise or sunset), the technique has worked satisfactorily for day as well as night time periods regardless of prevailing weather conditions.
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