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Spatio-temporal variability of fog-water collection in the eastern Iberian Peninsula: 2003–2012

Estrela, Maria J., Corell, David, Valiente, Jose A., Azorin-Molina, Cesar, Chen, Deliang
Atmospheric research 2019 v.226 pp. 87-101
air temperature, coasts, collectors, environmental factors, fire fighting, forest restoration, forests, harvesting, latitude, rain, relative humidity, water harvesting, wind direction, wind speed, Iberian Peninsula
Among the different inputs involved in the hydrological system, fog water measured by man-made passive devices is one of the most unknown components, although it could be an additional water resource for specific environmental applications (forest restoration, forest firefighting, etc.). Focusing on the Mediterranean Iberian Peninsula, the aim of this work is to quantify fog-water collected by a 24-fog-stations network spread across three latitudinal sectors with different locations (coastal, pre-littoral and inland), and to determine the most productive sites. Measurements from the network show that distance-to-sea, latitude or elevation differences between stations are factors affecting fog-water collection potential. The network, based on passive cylindrical omnidirectional fog-water collectors, was active during the period 2003–2012. In addition to fog collection, other environmental variables such as rainfall, wind speed and wind direction, air temperature and relative humidity were measured. These ancillary data were used in a specific data reduction technique to eliminate the simultaneous rainwater component from the fog water measurements, and in the retrieval of the optimum mean wind directions to harvest fog-water efficiently. It was concluded that (i) positive differences in elevation allow greater collection rates, even under 100 m differences; (ii) optimum harvesting wind directions for inland locations are in line with the orientation of the existent valley coupled with the shortest path to the coastline, their collected fog-water volumes being generally smaller than those near the coast; (iii) fog-water collection at coastal locations present more dispersed optimal wind directions, ranging from north to the direction of the most immediate coastline; and (iv) there is a practically null dependence of the optimum mean wind direction on seasonality, but a strong dependence of fog-water captured volumes, however.