Event Title

How Surface Properties Partition Isolation Differently (Xeriscape vs. Turf)

Presenter Information

Leann Lyons

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu

Start Date

4-5-2016 5:30 PM

End Date

4-5-2016 5:33 PM

Description

Climate change and population growth are driving an ever increasing need to conserve water in Utah. One way to accomplish this is xeriscaping, which typically involves changing landscapes to utilize surfaces and materials that use less water. However, there can be tradeoffs that result from this type of water conservation, particularly the amplification of the Urban Heat Island effect. Compared with turf, xeriscaped surfaces absorb more sunlight (have a lower albedo) and use more of the absorbed energy for sensible heat (raising the temperature) than for latent heat (evaporating water without raising the temperature). Thus, turf may need a lot of water in order to grow, but evaporation of that water helps cool the surface. For these reasons, xeriscaping has the potential to raise temperatures when implemented on a large scale. Research was undertaken at Weber State University’s Ogden campus to investigate the microclimate effects of different surface types. A turf surface and a xeriscape surface were chosen, roughly 100 m apart on the west side of Elizabeth Hall. The two locations have similar weather exposures, such as solar radiation and shade, leaving surface characteristics as the main difference. Equal air and ground temperature measurements for the two surfaces were taken during the course of a two-month period. The data collected and recorded shows the xeriscape surface produces significantly higher temperatures compared with turf. These results clearly show the tradeoffs of water conservation, and indicate the possible consequences of large-scale xeriscaping at Weber State University’s Ogden campus.

Comments

A poster by Leann Lyons, who is with Weber State University, Geography

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Apr 5th, 5:30 PM Apr 5th, 5:33 PM

How Surface Properties Partition Isolation Differently (Xeriscape vs. Turf)

USU Eccles Conference Center

Climate change and population growth are driving an ever increasing need to conserve water in Utah. One way to accomplish this is xeriscaping, which typically involves changing landscapes to utilize surfaces and materials that use less water. However, there can be tradeoffs that result from this type of water conservation, particularly the amplification of the Urban Heat Island effect. Compared with turf, xeriscaped surfaces absorb more sunlight (have a lower albedo) and use more of the absorbed energy for sensible heat (raising the temperature) than for latent heat (evaporating water without raising the temperature). Thus, turf may need a lot of water in order to grow, but evaporation of that water helps cool the surface. For these reasons, xeriscaping has the potential to raise temperatures when implemented on a large scale. Research was undertaken at Weber State University’s Ogden campus to investigate the microclimate effects of different surface types. A turf surface and a xeriscape surface were chosen, roughly 100 m apart on the west side of Elizabeth Hall. The two locations have similar weather exposures, such as solar radiation and shade, leaving surface characteristics as the main difference. Equal air and ground temperature measurements for the two surfaces were taken during the course of a two-month period. The data collected and recorded shows the xeriscape surface produces significantly higher temperatures compared with turf. These results clearly show the tradeoffs of water conservation, and indicate the possible consequences of large-scale xeriscaping at Weber State University’s Ogden campus.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2016/2016Posters/21