Knox Sara H.

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Sara H.

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  • Article
    Representativeness of eddy-covariance flux footprints for areas surrounding AmeriFlux sites
    (Elsevier, 2021-02-14) Chu, Housen ; Luo, Xiangzhong ; Ouyang, Zutao ; Chan, W. Stephen ; Dengel, Sigrid ; Biraud, Sebastien ; Torn, Margaret S. ; Metzger, Stefan ; Kumar, Jitendra ; Arain, M. Altaf ; Arkebauer, Tim J. ; Baldocchi, Dennis D. ; Bernacchi, Carl ; Billesbach, Dave ; Black, T. Andrew ; Blanken, Peter D. ; Bohrer, Gil ; Bracho, Rosvel ; Brown, Shannon ; Brunsell, Nathaniel A. ; Chen, Jiquan ; Chen, Xingyuan ; Clark, Kenneth ; Desai, Ankur R. ; Duman, Tomer ; Durden, David J. ; Fares, Silvano ; Forbrich, Inke ; Gamon, John ; Gough, Christopher M. ; Griffis, Timothy ; Helbig, Manuel ; Hollinger, David ; Humphreys, Elyn ; Ikawa, Hiroki ; Iwata, Hiroki ; Ju, Yang ; Knowles, John F. ; Knox, Sara H. ; Kobayashi, Hideki ; Kolb, Thomas ; Law, Beverly ; Lee, Xuhui ; Litvak, Marcy ; Liu, Heping ; Munger, J. William ; Noormets, Asko ; Novick, Kim ; Oberbauer, Steven F. ; Oechel, Walter ; Oikawa, Patty ; Papuga, Shirley A. ; Pendall, Elise ; Prajapati, Prajaya ; Prueger, John ; Quinton, William L. ; Richardson, Andrew D. ; Russell, Eric S. ; Scott, Russell L. ; Starr, Gregory ; Staebler, Ralf ; Stoy, Paul C. ; Stuart-Haëntjens, Ellen ; Sonnentag, Oliver ; Sullivan, Ryan C. ; Suyker, Andy ; Ueyama, Masahito ; Vargas, Rodrigo ; Wood, Jeffrey D. ; Zona, Donatella
    Large datasets of greenhouse gas and energy surface-atmosphere fluxes measured with the eddy-covariance technique (e.g., FLUXNET2015, AmeriFlux BASE) are widely used to benchmark models and remote-sensing products. This study addresses one of the major challenges facing model-data integration: To what spatial extent do flux measurements taken at individual eddy-covariance sites reflect model- or satellite-based grid cells? We evaluate flux footprints—the temporally dynamic source areas that contribute to measured fluxes—and the representativeness of these footprints for target areas (e.g., within 250–3000 m radii around flux towers) that are often used in flux-data synthesis and modeling studies. We examine the land-cover composition and vegetation characteristics, represented here by the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), in the flux footprints and target areas across 214 AmeriFlux sites, and evaluate potential biases as a consequence of the footprint-to-target-area mismatch. Monthly 80% footprint climatologies vary across sites and through time ranging four orders of magnitude from 103 to 107 m2 due to the measurement heights, underlying vegetation- and ground-surface characteristics, wind directions, and turbulent state of the atmosphere. Few eddy-covariance sites are located in a truly homogeneous landscape. Thus, the common model-data integration approaches that use a fixed-extent target area across sites introduce biases on the order of 4%–20% for EVI and 6%–20% for the dominant land cover percentage. These biases are site-specific functions of measurement heights, target area extents, and land-surface characteristics. We advocate that flux datasets need to be used with footprint awareness, especially in research and applications that benchmark against models and data products with explicit spatial information. We propose a simple representativeness index based on our evaluations that can be used as a guide to identify site-periods suitable for specific applications and to provide general guidance for data use.
  • Article
    Uncertainty in United States coastal wetland greenhouse gas inventorying
    (IOP Science, 2018-11-12) Holmquist, James R. ; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie ; Bernal, Blanca ; Byrd, Kristin B. ; Crooks, Stephen ; Gonneea, Meagan E. ; Herold, Nate ; Knox, Sara H. ; Kroeger, Kevin D. ; McCombs, John ; Megonigal, J. Patrick ; Lu, Meng ; Morris, James T. ; Sutton-Grier, Ariana E. ; Troxler, Tiffany G.
    Coastal wetlands store carbon dioxide (CO2) and emit CO2 and methane (CH4) making them an important part of greenhouse gas (GHG) inventorying. In the contiguous United States (CONUS), a coastal wetland inventory was recently calculated by combining maps of wetland type and change with soil, biomass, and CH4 flux data from a literature review. We assess uncertainty in this developing carbon monitoring system to quantify confidence in the inventory process itself and to prioritize future research. We provide a value-added analysis by defining types and scales of uncertainty for assumptions, burial and emissions datasets, and wetland maps, simulating 10 000 iterations of a simplified version of the inventory, and performing a sensitivity analysis. Coastal wetlands were likely a source of net-CO2-equivalent (CO2e) emissions from 2006–2011. Although stable estuarine wetlands were likely a CO2e sink, this effect was counteracted by catastrophic soil losses in the Gulf Coast, and CH4 emissions from tidal freshwater wetlands. The direction and magnitude of total CONUS CO2e flux were most sensitive to uncertainty in emissions and burial data, and assumptions about how to calculate the inventory. Critical data uncertainties included CH4 emissions for stable freshwater wetlands and carbon burial rates for all coastal wetlands. Critical assumptions included the average depth of soil affected by erosion events, the method used to convert CH4 fluxes to CO2e, and the fraction of carbon lost to the atmosphere following an erosion event. The inventory was relatively insensitive to mapping uncertainties. Future versions could be improved by collecting additional data, especially the depth affected by loss events, and by better mapping salinity and inundation gradients relevant to key GHG fluxes. Social Media Abstract: US coastal wetlands were a recent and uncertain source of greenhouse gasses because of CH4 and erosion.