A green roof segment for monitoring the hydrological and thermal behaviour of anthropogenic soil systems

https://doi.org/10.17221/17/2015-SWRCitation:Jelínková V., Dohnal M., Picek T. (2015): A green roof segment for monitoring the hydrological and thermal behaviour of anthropogenic soil systems. Soil & Water Res., 10: 262-270.
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Green roofs and similar anthropogenic soil-plant systems in conurbations have a high relevance for society, especially in a changing climate. Understanding the hydrological performance of green roof substrates is a significant task in the framework of sustainable urban planning and water/energy management in urban areas. Potential retention and detention capabilities of anthropogenic, light weight, highly permeable soil systems and their continued performance over time are of major importance. A green roof test segment was designed to investigate the benefits of such anthropogenic systems. This adaptable low-cost system allows for long-term monitoring of preferred characteristics. Temperature and water balance measurements complemented with meteorological observations and studies of physical properties of substrates provide a basis for a detailed analysis of thermal and hydrological regime in green roof systems. The very first results obtained from the test segment have confirmed the green roof systems benefits. Reduced temperature fluctuations as well as rainfall runoff were attained compared to the traditional roof systems. Depending on numerous factors including the substrate material or vegetation cover, in the green roof tested the temperature amplitude for a selected period of non-freezing days (with minimum ambient air temperature of 2.8°C) was suppressed by about 6.5°C on average. The ability to completely prevent (light rainfall events) or reduce and delay (medium and heavy rainfall events) the peak runoff was demonstrated, too.
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