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Albedo following fire in a northern hardwood forest

TitleAlbedo following fire in a northern hardwood forest
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1983
AuthorsJurik TW, Gates DM
JournalJournal of Climate and Applied Meteorology

Changes in albedo were tracked following fire on 18 August 1980 in a successional hardwood forest in northern lower Michigan (43 33 N, 84 42 W). Shortwave albedo (300-3000 nm) changed little with zenith angle up to 55 deg., but then increased rapidly. The rate of change in albedo with zenith zngle was highest in July and lowest in early spring and late autumn. Midday albedo increased from 7.7% five days after the fire to 10.8% after six weeks. During the 1981 and 1982 growing seasons, albedo increased from 10.4 and 13.6% in mid-May to peaks of 17.8 and 18.1% in early July, respectively, with values then declining through autumn. Albedo increased with percent coverage of ground surface with live vegetation up to 35% cover, with little further change in albedo with cover, up to maximum observed value of 70%. The ratio at midday of albedo in visible wavelengths (400-700 nm) to total shortwave albedo decreased from 0.49 in mid-May 1982 to a minimum of 0.22 in mid-July and then increased to 0.45 in mid-October, after leaf-fall. Midday shortwave albedo during winter varied from 01% over fresh show to 76% over old, compacted snow.