Effects of atmospheric stability conditions on heat fluxes from small water surfaces in (semi-)arid regions

Ali Abbasi*, Frank Ohene Annor, Nick van de Giesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


Atmospheric stability conditions over the water surface can affect the evaporative and convective heat fluxes from the water surface. Atmospheric instability occurred 72.5% of the time and resulted in 44.7 and 89.2% increases in the average and maximum estimated evaporation, respectively, when compared to the neutral condition for a small shallow lake (Binaba) in Ghana. The proposed approach is based on the bulk-aerodynamic transfer method and the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) using standard meteorological parameters measured over the surrounding land. For water surface temperature, a crucial parameter in heat flux estimation from water surfaces, an applicable method is proposed. This method was used to compute heat fluxes and compare them with observed heat fluxes. The heat flux model was validated using sensible heat fluxes measured with a 3-D sonic anemometer. The results show that an unstable atmospheric condition has a significant effect in enhancing evaporation alongside the sensible heat flux from water surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1422-1439
Number of pages18
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017


  • atmospheric boundary layer
  • evaporation
  • semi-arid region
  • small reservoirs
  • stability condition


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