Original paper

Surface energy fluxes during the total solar eclipse over Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, on 20 March 2015

Schulz, Alexander; Schaller, Carsten; Maturilli, Marion; Boike, Julia; Ritter, Christoph; Foken, Thomas

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 26 No. 4 (2017), p. 431 - 440

41 references

published: Oct 26, 2017
published online: Jul 21, 2017
manuscript accepted: Mar 14, 2017
manuscript revision received: Mar 13, 2017
manuscript revision requested: Feb 22, 2017
manuscript received: Dec 12, 2016

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2017/0846

BibTeX file


Open Access (paper can be downloaded for free)

Download paper for free


On 20 March 2015, a total solar eclipse occurred over Ny-Ålesund (78.9° N, 11.9° E), Svalbard, under ideal conditions with clear sky. The cycle of the radiation fluxes is comparable with other experiments during eclipses, with even the upward longwave radiation showing significant changes, with a delay to the shortwave radiation and a slowly linear increase after the totality. Also, under polar conditions, an increase of the wind velocity before and a decrease after the totality was found, which is an indicator of the generation of an “Eclipse cyclone”. This change of the wind direction generated a local wind system with a near-surface-layer katabatic flow. During the eclipse, a remarkably large sensible heat flux was observed. The turbulent fluxes were analysed using a wavelet technique with 1-minute time resolution, which is the ideal method for investigating these highly non-steady conditions. No influences on the boundary layer structure as measured with radiosondes were found, with the exception of a wind direction change during the eclipse cyclone below the shallow inversion layer.


total solar eclipsesensible heat fluxradiationeclipse cycloneNy-Ålesund