Data Report: Meteorological and Evapotranspiration Data from Sagebrush and Pinyon Pine/Juniper Communities at Pahute Mesa, Nevada National Security Site, 2011-2012
Description: Pahute Mesa is a groundwater recharge area at the Nevada National Security Site. Because underground nuclear testing was conducted at Pahute Mesa, groundwater recharge may transport radionuclides from underground test sites downward to the water table; the amount of groundwater recharge is also an important component of contaminant transport models. To estimate the amount of groundwater recharge at Pahute Mesa, an INFIL3.0 recharge-runoff model is being developed. Two eddy covariance (EC) stations were installed on Pahute Mesa to estimate evapotranspiration (ET) to support the groundwater recharge modeling project. This data report describes the methods that were used to estimate ET and collect meteorological data. Evapotranspiration was estimated for two predominant plant communities on Pahute Mesa; one site was located in a sagebrush plant community, the other site in a pinyon pine/juniper community. Annual ET was estimated to be 310±13.9 mm for the sagebrush site and 347±15.9 mm for the pinyon pine/juniper site (March 26, 2011 to March 26, 2012). Annual precipitation measured with unheated tipping bucket rain gauges was 179 mm at the sagebrush site and 159 mm at the pinyon pine/juniper site. Annual precipitation measured with bulk precipitation gauges was 222 mm at the sagebrush site and 227 mm at the pinyon pine/juniper site (March 21, 2011 to March 28, 2012). A comparison of tipping bucket versus bulk precipitation data showed that total precipitation measured by the tipping bucket rain gauges was 17 to 20 percent lower than the bulk precipitation gauges. These differences were most likely the result of the unheated tipping bucket precipitation gauges not measuring frozen precipitation as accurately as the bulk precipitation gauges. In this one-year study, ET exceeded precipitation at both study sites because estimates of ET included precipitation that fell during the winter of 2010-2011 prior to EC instrumentation and the precipitation gauges ...
Date: April 1, 2013
Creator: Jasoni, Richard L; Larsen, Jessica D; Lyles, Brad F.; Healey, John M; Cooper, Clay A; Hershey, Ronald L et al.
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