MUREX: a land-surface field experiment to study the annual cycle of the energy and water budgets
Abstract. The MUREX (monitoring the usable soil reservoir experimentally) experiment was designed to provide continuous time series of field data over a long period, in order to improve and validate the Soil-vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer (SVAT) parameterisations employed in meteorological models. Intensive measurements were performed for more than three years over fallow farmland in southwestern France. To capture the main processes controlling land-atmosphere exchanges, the local climate was fully characterised, and surface water and energy fluxes, vegetation biomass, soil moisture profiles, surface soil moisture and surface and soil temperature were monitored. Additional physiological measurements were carried out during selected periods to describe the biological control of the fluxes. The MUREX data of 1995, 1996, and 1997 are presented. Four SVAT models are applied to the annual cycle of 1995. In general, they succeed in simulating the main features of the fallow functioning, although some shortcomings are revealed.
Key words. Hydrology (evapotranspiration; soil moisture; water-energy interactions).