Fog: An Important Water Source in Arid Zones


In semiarid and arid zones, fog is considered an important alternative water source. The southeast Pacific anticyclone, the cold Humboldt Current and the rugged topography that characterize the North of Chile, promotes the formation of low stratocumulus along the coastline. The thermally induced winds move this low clouds eastwards and, in those hills of the Coast Range higher than 600 m, persistent fog episodes can be observed. The goal of this paper is to characterize the fog-water collection and its relation with atmospheric variables. For this purpose an experimental station equipped with a meteorological station and a Standard Fog Collector (SFC) was installed in El Sarco, a coastal hill located in the semiarid Norte Chico of Chile. Near the station, a Large Fog Collector of 150 m2 designed by an engineer team in Chile was installed. The collected water was used to restore a selected area with relict vegetation. We found that the wind regime was compatible with a land-sea circulation, with wind speed stronger during the day than at the night time. Fog water collection (FWC) increases with the wind speed and occurs both, when the wind is coming eastwards from the ocean and in the opposite direction. The shape of the diurnal cycle of FWC is seasonal dependent and in average, it presents two maximum, at 0600 LT and 1800 LT. The daily average per month ranges between 1.7 l/day and 5.0 l/day, and occurs in August and January, respectively.

Author Information
Sonia Montecinos, Departamento de Física, Universidad de La Serena, La Serena, Chile
Pilar Cereceda, Instituto de Geografía, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Santiago, Chile

Paper Information
Conference: ECSEE2015
Stream: Environmental Sustainability and Environmental Management: Atmosphere and Air

This paper is part of the ECSEE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon