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CD-01 Abstract

Spatial Integration of Regional Carbon Balance in Amazonia

Allan Scott Denning — Colorado State University (US-PI)
Pedro Leite Silva Dias — USP - Universidade de Sao Paulo (SA-PI)


We propose a three-year research program to estimate the basin-scale carbon balance of

Amazônia, using a combination of data collected by flux towers, light rental aircraft,

and remote sensing, and geographic information systems, interpreted and integrated with

numerical modeling of ecosystem carbon flux and regional atmospheric. Tower flux data from

sites in intact forest, re-growing forest, pasture, and savanna, will be used to calibrate

a model of ecosystem physiology and biogeochemistry (based on the component models SiB2

and CASA) for each major cover type in the region. This model will be coupled to a

mesoscale atmospheric model (RAMS), to investigate the propagation of the

"signal" of terrestrial carbon flux into the local and regional atmosphere.

Light aircraft will be used to estimate regional convective boundary-layer budgets of CO2

and its stable isotopes, and these data will be used in conjunction with the model to

estimate carbon budgets of each cover type over much larger areas than is possible from

the towers. The improved ecosystem model will then be applied across the basin using

remotely sensed data and a GIS, to calculate the spatial structure of ecosystem carbon

flux throughout the year. These estimated fluxes will be used in the mesoscale atmospheric

model to predict 4-dimensional fields of CO2 and d13C, which can be

compared to data collected by later aircraft campaigns such as LBA-CLAIRE or TRACE-B, when

they become available. It is hoped that our results will allow reliable carbon budget

estimation in other regions from EOS data in the future using relatively inexpensive

aircraft sampling programs.

Research Team Responsibilities

  • Scott Denning: Model development and integration

  • Pier-Luigi Vidale: SiB2-RAMS programming

  • Lara Prihodko: Remote sensing, GIS, model parameterization

  • Raymond L. Desjardins: Aircraft instrumentation, CBL budgets

  • Pedro L. Silva Dias: RAMS 4-D data assimilation

  • Maria Assunçao Silva Dias: RAMS 4-D data assimilation

  • Humberto Ribeira da Rocha: SiB2 site calibration

  • Joe Berry: SiB2 site calibration

Preferred Sites

We will necessarily work with whatever sites are chosen for eddy covariance flux

towers. We prefer to work with flux tower sites in (1) intact forest; (2) re-growing

forest, (3) savanna, and (4) pasture. The CBL budget work is designed to work with a

"lake-breeze" circulation in the vicinity of a large body of water, and would

add significant value to the flask air sampling program proposed by Tans, Bakwin, and

Artaxo, if it were located between their sampling sites (Belém and Manaus). We have

identified the area around Santarém, Pará as a likely site that meets most of these



  • 1998: Develop and test the coupled SiB2-CASA carbon model. Couple this to RAMS.

  • 1998-1999: Perform site calibration of SiB2-CASA model using ABRACOS data,

    available LBA eddy covariance data, and site meteorology for sites in intact forest,

    regenerating forest, savanna, and pasture.

  • 1999: Perform LES simulations of PBL structure, CO2, and d13C

    at tower flux sites. Perform mesoscale "lake-breeze" simulations of internal

    boundary layer development and use the results to plan aircraft campaign.

  • 1999: Conduct aircraft campaign (using rental aircraft) to measure CBL budgets of

    CO2 and d13C over regional area surrounding one or more flux tower


  • 1999-2000: Obtain basin-scale data products on land cover classification,

    eco-physiological, and phenology parameters derived from remotely sensed data or provided

    from other LBA investigators. Use these to parameterize SiB2 across


  • 2000: Perform basin-scale simulations of ecosystem carbon and d13C flux in

    coupled SiB2-RAMS model, forced with 4-D data assimilation products and nested down to

    local scale in the vicinity of each LBA flux site. Analyze spatial and temporal patterns,

    rectifier effect, and produce sensitivity analysis for later aircraft campaigns (e.g.,


Last Updated: May 18, 1998

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