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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016, Article ID 3670257, 9 pages
Research Article

Estimating the Evaporation from Irrigation Canals in Northwestern China Using the Double-Deck Surface Air Layer Model

1Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Lanzhou 73000, China
2Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University, Nankoku 783-8502, Japan
3The Society of Agricultural Meteorology of Japan, Fukuoka 812-0016, Japan

Received 24 August 2015; Revised 26 October 2015; Accepted 3 November 2015

Academic Editor: Xiao-Ming Hu

Copyright © 2016 Suhua Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The evaporation from irrigation canals was estimated by the aerodynamic method based on the double-deck surface air layer model (called “DSAL model” for short hereafter). The DSAL model describes the surface air layer over a canal as a composite air layer with two sublayers, the lower sublayer and the upper sublayer. The lower sublayer is a few tens of centimeters thick and formed by the flowing water, in which there is no advection; the upper sublayer is over the lower sublayer and formed by the surface wind. The results were compared to those obtained by the heat balance method; field experiments were conducted in the middle reaches of the Heihe River in northwestern China. Results showed that cumulative evaporation instances estimated by the DSAL model were equal in order of magnitude to those by the heat balance method on observed days during the daytime (0700~1900 BST). We infer from these experimental results that the evaporation loss in transport in this region is of the order of one percent at most.