Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017, Article ID 6258180, 11 pages
Research Article

Numerical Simulation of Surface Energy and Water Balances over a Semiarid Grassland Ecosystem in the West African Savanna

1Meteorology and Climate Science Unit, Department of Physics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Ibaraki, Japan
3Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
4Chair for Regional Climate and Hydrology, University of Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
5Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria

Correspondence should be addressed to Matthias Mauder; ude.tik@reduam.saihttam

Received 24 June 2016; Revised 4 October 2016; Accepted 27 November 2016; Published 3 January 2017

Academic Editor: Jan Friesen

Copyright © 2017 Emmanuel Quansah 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.


To understand surface energy exchange processes over the semiarid regions in West Africa, numerical simulations of surface energy and water balances were carried out using a one-dimensional multilayer atmosphere-SOil-VEGetation (SOLVEG) model for selected days of the dry and rainy seasons over a savanna grassland ecosystem in Sumbrungu in the Upper East region of Ghana. The measured Bowen ratio was used to partition the residual energy into the observed sensible heat flux () and latent heat flux (LE) in order to investigate the impact of the surface energy closure on model performance. The results showed that the model overall reproduced the diurnal changes in the observed energy fluxes, especially the net radiation (Rn), compared to half-hourly eddy covariance flux measurements, for the study periods. The performance measure in terms of the correlation coefficient (), centred root mean square error (RMSE), and normalized standard deviation (σ) between the simulated and LE and their corresponding uncorrected observed values ranged between R = 0.63–0.99 and 0.83–0.94, RMSE = 0.88–1.25 and 0.88–1.92, and = 0.95–2.23 and 0.13–2.82 for the dry and rainy periods respectively, indicating a moderate to good model performance. The partitioning of and LE by SOLVEG was generally in agreement with the observations during the dry period but showed clear discrepancies during the rainy period, particularly after rainfall events. Further sensitivity tests over longer simulation periods (e.g., 1 year) are required to improve model performance and to investigate seasonal exchanges of surface energy fluxes over the West African Savanna ecosystems in more details.