Numerical simulation of surface energy and water balances over a semiarid grassland ecosystem in the West African Savanna

To understand surface energy exchange processes over the semiarid regions in West Africa, numerical simulations of surface energy and water balances were carried out using a one-dimensional multilayer atmosphere-SOil-VEGetation (SOLVEG) model for selected days of the dry and rainy seasons over a savanna grassland ecosystem in Sumbrungu in the Upper East region of Ghana. Te measured Bowen ratio was used to partition the residual energy into the observed sensible heat flux (�) and latent heat flux (LE) in order to investigate the impact of the surface energy closure on model performance. Te results showed that the model overall reproduced the diurnal changes in the observed energy fluxes, especially the net radiation (Rn), compared to halfhourly eddy covariance flux measurements, for the study periods. Te performance measure in terms of the correlation coefcient (�), centred root mean square error (RMSE), and normalized standard deviation (�) between the simulated � and LE and their corresponding uncorrected observed values ranged between R = 0.63–0.99 and 0.83–0.94, RMSE = 0.88–1.25 and 0.88–1.92, and � = 0.95–2.23 and 0.13–2.82 for the dry and rainy periods respectively, indicating a moderate to good model performance. Te partitioning of � and LE by SOLVEG was generally in agreement with the observations during the dry period but showed clear discrepancies during the rainy period, particularly afer rainfall events. Further sensitivity tests over longer simulation periods (e.g., 1 year) are required to improve model performance and to investigate seasonal exchanges of surface energy fluxes over the West African Savanna ecosystems in more details.
An article published by Advances in Meteorology Volume 2017, Article ID 6258180, 11 pages and available at
Advances in Meteorology Volume 2017, Article ID 6258180, 11 pages