InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Critical Zone Science > Student Materials > Student Materials Unit 4.1
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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For the Instructor

These student materials complement the Critical Zone Science Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing InTeGrate teaching materials.

Unit 4.1: Energy Budgets

Introduction

The purpose of this unit is to explore, compare, contrast and calculate energy fluxes from different CZO field sites to better appreciate the critical differences in the driving radiative forces affecting each site. This module will help you complete your semester-long project by introducing you to critical baseline data collection and data bases related to energy budgets.

The primary data set for this activity is the CZO tower network of a dozen met/flux towers spanning six different biomes/sites. Each site has a slightly different data format but it is easily manipulated in a spreadsheet. The lesson is divided into the following engaging activities. In this unit, you will:

  • use water and energy cycle diagrams to discuss how water and energy are partitioned at the watershed scale
  • learn about the instrumentation used to collect water and energy flux data
  • examine radiative forcings collected from various CZO sites to compare various climatic and site-specific influences
  • explore and visualize energy flux data from the CZO database
  • calculate a measure of Effective Energy and Mass Transfer (EEMT) related to the potential for Critical Zone evolution
  • use CZO micro meteorological data to calculate reference evaporation at a site of choice.

Unit 4.1: Energy Budgets

Part 1 - Energy Flux

Pre-class

In-class

Introduction to Water and Energy Budgets & Fluxes

  • The following lecture notes will introduce you to water and energy budgets and fluxes.
  • Standard Lecture: Introduction to Water and Energy Budgets & Fluxes (24 slides, ~35 min)
    • Student Lecture Notes: Introduction to Water/Energy Budgets & Fluxes - Printable (6/pg) Student Note Set (Acrobat (PDF) 754kB Feb23 17)

Energy Flux Graphing Activity

    • In this activity, you will explore CZO Met/Flux Field Sites & Database.These slides will introduce you to the original six Critical Zone Observatories to give you an idea of the physiologic setting. Working with the CZO Met/Flux Database: Energy Flux Graphing Activity - The ultimate goal is to get you actually working with typically archived energy flux data, first by graphing it and then by using it to calculate something called reference evaporation.
      • Notes: CZO Field Sites and Data- Printable (6/pg) Student Note Set (Acrobat (PDF) 991kB Oct14 13).
Homework
  • Look for a different data set and make 2 plots with at least 2 variables/plot of meteorological variables (such as TA or VPD) and energy flux variables such as (Rn, H or LE) versus Calendar or Julian date. Once you have the basic plot, make sure you make it readable (titles, etc).

Part 2 - Annual Energy Balance

Pre-class

In-class

Review of homework

  • You will start with a review of any issues and the homework associated with the energy flux activity that was started and assigned last period.

Annual Energy Balance Graphs Activity

  • You will examine the six graphs in the Handout (below) for patterns and speculate as to what controls the timing and magnitude of fluxes.

Additional Resources

Sources of Data

Background References

Other Useful Information

  • List of CZO tower sites with annual data Tower site basic info (Acrobat (PDF) PRIVATE FILE 48kB Jul6 13)
  • Column index for CZO tower data files - useful for graphing Tower column index (Acrobat (PDF) PRIVATE FILE 46kB Jul6 13)
  • Yearly index of CZO Met site coverage Met site yearly coverage (Acrobat (PDF) PRIVATE FILE 75kB Jul6 13)
These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »