Research on Fog Collection Around the World


Robert S. Schemenauer

Arequipa, Peru EU Workshop 30 September 1996
(Abbreviated summary of paper presented)

Scope of the Research and Development Work

There are scientific publications relevant to fog and fog collection that extend back about a hundred years, though the more rigorous work has been published in the last twenty years. I will list below some of the areas in which work has been done and in which more research needs to be done. Further work is necessary to clarify and extend the results, to improve fog collection technology, to understand fog chemistry, to model the collection process both on the microscale and on the scale of large collectors, and to model the deposition process in forested areas.

Research Areas

Fog frequency measurements
Fog climatologies for low and high elevation areas
Meteorological conditions for fog formation
Formation processes for fog droplets and drizzle drops
Measurements of fog liquid water contents
Measurements of fog droplet sizes
Chemistry of fog water (ion and heavy metal concentrations)
Measurements of throughfall in forests during fog events
Examination of the impaction process on needles and leaves
Studies of ultrastructural needle changes (e.g. epicuticular waxes) due to acidic fog events
Collection of fog water by a tree
Collection of fog water by uniform flat forests
Hydrologic input of fog water in mountainous terrain (hundreds of square kilometers)
Hydrologic input of fog water in regions (thousands of square kilometers)
Chemical wet deposition from fog in mountainous terrain
Contributions of fog to groundwater supplies
Studies of the use of fog water by plants
Studies of native plant species that are dependent on fog collection
Studies of insects that are dependent on fog collection
Studies of the potential application of fog collection technology throughout the world
Satellite investigations of fog frequency
The role of cold water upwellings in the ocean on fog frequency
Design of fog collectors for fog flux measurements
Design of fog collectors for chemical analysis of fog water
Design of large fog collectors for the operational collection of fog water
Dependence of collection rates on wind speed and approach angle to the collector
Selection of optimum topographic features for fog collection sites
Design of delivery systems for fog water supply projects
Studies of the acceptance of fog water supply systems by the users
Studies of the costs of fog water supply systems

These, and perhaps other areas, have been studied by scientists and technologists in many countries. Some of the work, such as the microscale collection process by which fog droplets attach themselves to conifer needles, is applicable everywhere. Other studies, such as the fog frequency on a mountain, depend on the local meteorology, topography, and possibly sea conditions, and are site specific.

Communication of Results

The First International Conference on Fog and Fog Collection will be held in Vancouver, Canada, 19-24 July, 1998. Papers are invited on the topics listed in the previous section. All submissions will be reviewed by an international committee and those accepted will be presented at the conference and published in the Conference Proceedings. An international journal has asked that a select number of the papers appear in a special issue of the journal devoted to the conference theme. This offer is currently being considered.