Testing the hypothesis on the relationship between aerodynamic roughness length and albedo using vegetation structure parameters

Jaeil Cho, Shin Miyazaki, Pat J.F. Yeh, Wonsik Kim, Shinjiro Kanae, Taikan Oki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Surface albedo (α) and aerodynamic roughness length (z 0), which partition surface net radiation into energy fluxes, are critical land surface properties for biosphere-atmosphere interactions and climate variability. Previous studies suggested that canopy structure parameters influence both α and z 0; however, no field data have been reported to quantify their relationships. Here, we hypothesize that a functional relationship between α and z 0 exists for a vegetated surface, since both land surface parameters can be conceptually related to the characteristics of canopy structure. We test this hypothesis by using the observed data collected from 50 site-years of field measurements from sites worldwide covering various vegetated surfaces. On the basis of these data, a negative linear relationship between α and log(z 0) was found, which is related to the canopy structural parameter. We believe that our finding is a big step toward the estimation of z 0 with high accuracy. This can be used, for example, in the parameterization of land properties and the observation of z 0 using satellite remote sensing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-418
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Albedo
  • Canopy structural parameter
  • Roughness length

Cite this