Micro-droplet flux in forest and its contribution to interception loss of rainfall – theoretical study and field experiment.
A new approach to explain forest interception was proposed by introducing micro-droplets of crushed raindrops during rainfall. The aerodynamic diffusion and transfer of both vapour and micro-droplets from canopy to upper air were described and calculated, and proposed formulas applied to eight rainfall events at the Okunoi Experimental Station, Tokushima, Japan. Contributions from droplet transfer were 0.9-58.2 times of contributions from vapour transfer, taking a majority portion in total interception loss. Accounting only the vapour transfer or evaporation loss as estimated by Penman equation was not able to account for actual interception loss. The micro-droplet flux component took major portion in the two heavily rained events, and completely made up the interception as happened in October 2004. The droplet flux could accommodate a high interception rate, even when the air was nearly vapour-saturated and vapour flux was zero. This approach provided a new explanation to extraordinarily high interception rates.