Chequamegon Heterogeneous Ecosystem Energy-balance Study Enabled by a High-density Extensive Array of Detectors

06/24/2019 - 10/11/2019
Project Location
Park Falls, WI


The Chequamegon Heterogeneous Ecosystem Energy-balance Study Enabled by a High-density Extensive Array of Detectors (CHEESEHEAD) is an intensive field campaign designed specifically to address long-standing puzzles regarding the role of atmospheric boundary-layer responses to scales of spatial heterogeneity in surface-atmosphere heat and water exchanges. A high-density observing network will be coupled to large-eddy simulation experiments to advance spatiotemporal scaling methods for heterogeneous land surface properties and fluxes, evaluate realistic large eddy simulations in complex landscapes, and test theories on the scales at which the lower atmosphere responds to surface heterogeneity. The proposed experiment generates knowledge relevant to many scientific applications in the national interest such as numerical weather prediction, energy resources, and computational fluid dynamics. Field support outreach and teacher training is included via middle, high school, and undergraduate student involvement at nearby schools and colleges.


The  three-month  field campaign will be held mid-summer 2019 in a 10x10 km domain of  the existing Park Falls, WI, WLEF 400 m very tall tower Ameriflux/NOAA supersite. The three-month period allows for observing the evolution of the land surface from latent-heat flux dominated to sensible-heat flux dominated as vegetation senesces sequentially across the landscape.

Landcover (National Land Cover Data 2011) map of the surrounding region, 10x10 km study domain (black box), WLEF very tall tower, ISS, SPARC instruments (blue cross), 20 tower locations (red dots) airports (red triangle), and proposed flight pattern for UW King Air (purple lines and arrows), based at KPBH. Flight pattern for the UW ultralight varies, but generally follows the edges of the target domain, flying in from KPKF. (Map courtesy of Dr. Ankur Desai, U. of Wisconsin).


Requested Facilities: UWKA with WCL, 1 NCAR ISS, 12 - 20 NCAR ISFS, NCAR WV DIAL, EOL Data Management, Operations Plan.

The  project  involves  deployment  of  the  National  Science  Foundation  Lower  Atmosphere Observing Facility (LAOF) Integrated Surface Flux System. This first-of-its-kind very high-density (17-20  tower)  eddy  covariance  flux  tower  network  would  intensively  sample  surface  energy fluxes and meteorology across a heterogeneous forest landscape representative of much of the mid-latitudes within  the  10x10  km  sampling  footprint  of  the existing  very  tall  tower.  Student observers  would  routinely  sample  phenology  and  vegetation properties at  the  tower  sites.  A NASA G-LiHT airborne imaging spectroscopy campaign will map leaf chemistry, canopy structure, and thermal emission for scaling purposes. Atmospheric profiles will be observed at a clearing near the tall tower with the LAOF Integrated Sounding System 449 MHz profiler, radiosondes, the University of Wisconsin SPARC AERI, HSRL, ceilometer and wind LiDAR, and the contributed instruments from collaborators including additional wind LiDARs and in situ profiling on the tall tower.  Three five-day  intensive  observation  periods  will  include  deployment  of  University  of Wyoming  King  Air  to  map  energy  balance  eddy  fluxes,  atmospheric  profiles, and planetary boundary-layer depth. All of these observations would be used to test flux tower scaling, observe atmospheric mesoscale patterning, and evaluate large eddy simulations.


Principal Investigators

Ankur Desai (UW)

Mark Schwartz (UW)

Matthias Mauder (KIT)

Stefan Metzger (NEON)

Rosalyn Pertzborn (UW)

Data Manager