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Modelling thermal fluxes at the soil surface

Munoz Criollo, Jose, Cleall, Peter John and Rees, Stephen William 2016. Modelling thermal fluxes at the soil surface. Environmental Geotechnics 10.1680/jenge.15.00075

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Abstract

This paper investigates the impact that various representations of thermal fluxes at the soil surface have on the estimation of seasonal variations of temperature and stored thermal energy in the soil close to the surface. Three theoretical formulations representing; turbulent, nonturbulent and vegetation-covered soil surface conditions are considered. The influence of shading from nearby objects (e.g. vegetation) has also been investigated. Numerical predictions of soil temperature and stored thermal energy are compared with experimental results from a large scale field test (performed by others). The results of both 1D and 2D simulations are shown capable of representing specific aspects of field behaviour. Various sources of meteorological data have been used to define surface boundary conditions. In particular, simulations were performed using; i) data measured in-situ, ii) data obtained from The British Atmospheric Data Centre, and iii) data generated using analytical expressions found in the literature. It is found that the correct representation of the heat transfer processes occurring at the soil surface is of critical importance. In particular, it is shown that the use of publicly available sources of data, or mathematical/analytical expressions for meteorological data, may be adequate when in-situ measurements are not available.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: energy finite element methods
Publisher: ICE
ISSN: 2051-803X
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Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 27 September 2016
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2017 21:16
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/95459

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