MT26E-Surface Energy Exchange

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Tristan Quaife


Type of module:

Summary module description:
In this module students will learn how the atmospheric boundary layer responds to surface fluxes. The fundamentals of turbulence and micrometeorology of the surface layer are also introduced.

This module aims to illustrate the theory of surface energy exchange processes by means of practical work carried out under field conditions.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student should be able to:
Demonstrate a physical understanding of energy exchange processes in the surface layer and perform relevant calculations
Interpret experimental measurements of radiation, momentum and heat energy exchange in the surface layer
Appreciate the limitations of measurement systems used under field conditions, and be able to perform error calculations

Additional outcomes:
The students will enhance their skills in the use of instruments, team-working, use of spreadsheets for scientific calculations, and scientific report writing.

Outline content:
Lecture/Workshop content revises some of the theoretical background introduced in MT11D and introduces new theory relating to the description and measurement of turbulent exchange processes in the atmospheric surface layer.
The practical content covers: measurement of the surface radiation budget, measurement of the turbulent momentum and heat transfer by the eddy covariance method, and measurement of surface fluxes by the profile method.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and field experiments with an element of teamwork.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Demonstration 1
Practicals classes and workshops 18
Guided independent study 71
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 90
Practical skills assessment 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

30% from Report (typically submitted in the first week of summer term), 60% from a Final Report (typically submitted in the last week of the spring term), 10% from a Field Notebook (5% per experiment) typically submitted in the first week of summer term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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