Investigating microclimate effects in an oasis-desert interaction zone

Rui Liu, Andrey Sogachev, Xiaofan Yang, Shaomin Liu*, Tongren Xu, Junjie Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    To investigate oasis-desert microclimate effects, we performed a series of numerical simulations in an idealized oasis-desert system based on an improved computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model for simulating atmospheric boundary layer flows, air temperature and humidity. Numerical simulations were designed based on the hydrometeorological observations obtained during the HiWATER-MUSOEXE (Heihe Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research, Multi-Scale Observation Experiment on Evapotranspiration over heterogeneous land surfaces) campaign. The results are summarized as follows: (1) Oasis-desert interactions are significantly affected by background wind conditions. We observed the oasis-desert local circulation under calm background wind conditions and the oasis thermal internal boundary layer under low wind speed conditions induced by hydrothermal contracts. These interactions will disappear when the background wind speed is sufficiently high, and there is only an oasis dynamic internal boundary layer caused by the aerodynamic roughness length contrast. (2) Oasis-desert interactions lead to a series of microclimate effects, including the oasis cold-wet island effect, air humidity inversion effect within the surrounding desert and oasis wind shield effect, which are important for the stability and sustainability of the oases-desert ecosystem. (3) The hydrothermal conditions due to the difference between the oasis and desert, the vegetation fraction and distribution patterns impact the oasis-desert microclimate effects. The intensity of oasis-desert interactions increases with the land surface temperature (LST) difference in the oasis-desert. The oasis-desert interactions are gradually strengthened with the increase of the vegetation fraction within the oasis. Integrated ecological and economic benefits of the oasis, the oasis vegetation pattern, which includes the croplands and shelterbelts staggered within the oasis and the shelterbelts surrounding the outside, is beneficial to limiting the loss of water vapor and preventing sandstorms from the oasis. The findings of the current study improve the fundamental understanding of the microclimate and provide implications for maintaining the sustainability of oasis-desert ecosystems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107992
    JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Oasis-desert interactions
    • Computational fluid dynamics
    • Microclimate effects
    • Oasis sustainability


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