The structure of the radiation balance on a sandy surface: case the Błędów desert, Silesian Upland

  • 1 University of Silesia, Faculty of Earth Science, 60 Będzińska Street, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland

Abstract

Comprehensive environmental studies taking under consideration the structure of the radiation balance during the vegetation growing seasons of 2001 and 2002 were carried out on the open sandy surface of the area called the Błędów ‘desert’ located on Silesian Upland. The research in each site covered the composition of plant species, their age and height, the condition of the substratum, the composition and structure of the soil and the meteorological conditions with elements of the radiation balance. The article presents some part of the research on meteorological elements and their impact on ecosystem. Special attention was devoted to radiation conditions on the open sandy surface in the context of the formation of BSC (biological soil crust). Having presumed that the values obtained on the grassy surface constituted 100%, the values of radiation reflection measured on the open sandy surface were 185% higher and the values of net longwave radiation were 105% higher in day time and 137% in night time. Values of net radiation of about 63% lower were observed on the sandy surface during a typical sunny summer day. It was found that a strong irradiation of the sandy surface (26 MJ·m–2d–1) creates extremely difficult conditions for the initiation of the process of ecosystem formation (including BSC or plant succession). The elements of the radiation balance, net radiation, albedo and temperature of the open sandy surface were represented quantitatively. The test surfaces were classified based on the value of the albedo: group I with low albedo values, up to 0.15 (spore-bearing plants on a dark surface), including BSC; group II with mean values of the albedo from 0.16 to 0.24 (spore-bearing plants and seed on a dark grey surface); and group III with high albedo values, above 0.25 (plants growing on bare or loose sands).

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