MAQ-22806 Atmosphere-Vegetation-Soil Interactions


Studiepunten 6.00

Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. AF Moene
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. JC van Dam
dr. ir. AF Moene
Examiner(s)dr. ir. JC van Dam
dr. ir. AF Moene

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

MAQ-21806 Meteorology and Climate; SOC-22803 Soil 2; AEW-23803 Water 2

Continuation courses:

HWM-23306 Field practical hydrology, water quality and meteorology; MAQ-32306 Boundary layer processes; SLM-21306 Subsurface solute transport; SOQ-35806 Field training land-atmosphere interactions


This course deals with transport processes near the interface between atmosphere and land. It focuses on the exchange of energy, water and other species between the soil and the lower part of the atmosphere. Special attention is paid to the role of vegetation in this exchange. The energy and water balance near the Earth's surface are linked through evapotranspiration fluxes of the soil-vegetation system. In the soil part special attention is paid to the movement of water, solutes and heat through the vadose zone, and effects of dry, wet and salty conditions on vegetation development and evapotranspiration. Main topics in the atmospheric part concern interaction of the surface with incoming radiation, and effects of shear and stratification on energy and water transport. Analytical tools and numerical models are used to solve the transport problems.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- calculate radiative fluxes at the surface and in a canopy for given surface conditions and atmospheric conditions, as well as analyse observed fluxes of the four components of net radiation;
- explain and apply methods to determine soil hydraulic and thermal properties;
- analyse and calculate the behaviour and movement of heat, water and solutes in the soil-water-vegetation-atmosphere system;
- analyse the role of turbulence, shear and stratification in atmospheric exchange processes in the lower 100 meters above the ground, and describe and apply similarity relationships;
- solve practical problems related to atmospheric transport processes (e.g. calculation of evaporation and transpiration, soil temperatures, CO2-transport, deposition, surface temperature and the radiation balance);
- analyse the interaction between soil transport processes, crop growth and atmospheric surface fluxes, both by combining the process-descriptions for the various compartments and by using ecohydrological models;
- explain how the exchange processes are modelled in large- and small-scale numerical models and for practical applications;
- use an agrohydrological model to analyse the interaction between soil transport processes and crop growth.


- active participation in lectures and tutorials;
- performing all exercises;
- active participation in the computer practical (compulsory).


Final mark is based on:
- two interim tests (15-0%), each test only counts if the grade for the test is higher than the grade for the final exam;
- practical assignment (20%);
- final exam (65-80%);
Both the interim tests and the final exam are closed book exams, with a formulary available.


A.F. Moene and J.C. van Dam (2014). Transport in the atmosphere-vegetation-soil continuum. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9780521195683.
A.F. Moene and J.C. van Dam (2019). Atmosphere-Vegetation-Soil Interactions - Course manual (WUR-shop).

Verplicht voor: BSWSoil, Water, AtmosphereBSc5AF