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Observations and Models of Boundary-Layer Processes Over Complex Terrain

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  1. Observations and Models of Boundary-Layer Processes Over Complex Terrain • What is the planetary boundary layer (PBL)? • What are the effects of irregular terrain on the basic PBL structure? • How do we observe the PBL over complex terrain? • What do models tell us? • What is our current understanding of the PBL and what are the outstanding problems to be addressed?

  2. Effects of irregular terrain on PBL structure • Flow over hills (horizontal scale a few km; vertical scale a few 10’s of m up to a fraction of PBL depth) • Flow over heterogeneous surfaces (small-scale variability with discontinuous changes in surface properties)

  3. Flow over a hill (neutral stability) • Idealized profile (Witch of Agnesi profile): (After Maria Agnesi; Milano, Italy, 1748)

  4. (Kaimal & Finnigan, 1994).

  5. (Kaimal & Finnigan, 1994).

  6. (Kaimal & Finnigan, 1994).

  7. (Kaimal & Finnigan, 1994).

  8. Regions of Flow Over Hills • Inner layer – region where turbulent stresses affect changes in mean flow. Hunt et al. (1988) obtain the relation for ℓ: • Outer layer – height at which shear in upwind profile ceases to be important: • For h = 10 m, Lh = 200 m and z0 = 0.02 m, ℓ = 10 m and hm = 66 m

  9. Effects of horizontal heterogeneity in surface properties • Changes in surface roughness • Rough to smooth • Smooth to rough • Changes in surface energy fluxes • Sensible heat flux • Latent heat flux • Changes in incoming solar radiation • Cloudiness • Slope

  10. Scale of changes in PBL downwind of discontinuity • Confined to surface layer (10 to 50 m) • Entire PBL (10 to 100 km) • Mesoscale (geostrophic adjustment; > 100 km)

  11. Effects of variations in surfaceroughness

  12. Changes in surface roughness • Characterized by change in roughness length – • , where upwind roughness length and downwind roughness length

  13. Surface-layer internal boundary layer We define internal BL by (subscript θ for temperature and c for other scalars). The simplest formulations for are of the form (analogous to BL growth on a smooth flat plate in wind tunnel experiments.) ,

  14. Surface-layer internal boundary layer A more sophisticated approach is to assume vertical diffusion then, With at With this gives reasonable agreement With observations. (Works best from smooth to rough).

  15. z02=1 z02= 0.1 z02=0.01 z02=0.001

  16. From Oke, T.R., 1987: Boundary Layer Climates

  17. Effects of changes in surface energy fluxes

  18. The Surface Energy Budget The thermal energy balance at the bottom of the surface layer is conventionally written as Rn = H + λeE + Gs , where Rn is the net radiation: short- and long-wave incoming minus outgoing, H is the sensible heat flux, λeE is the latent heat flux, and Gs is the heat flux going into storage in the soil or vegetation.

  19. (a) Rn λeE • Surface energy budget terms • for clear skies over a moist, bare • soil in the summer at mid-lati- • tudes. (b) Temperatures at the • surface, at 1.2 m height in the air, • and at 0.2 m depth in the soil • (from Oke, 1987 after Novak and • Black, 1985). Gs H

  20. Effects of changes in incoming solar radiation

  21. Diurnal variation of direct-beam solar radiation On surfaces with different angles of slope and aspect ratio at 40 ° N latitude for: (a) the equinoxes (21 March and 21 September) (b) summer solstice (22 June) (c) winter solstice (22 December) (Oke, 1987)

  22. Total daily direct-beam solar Radiation incident upon Slopes of differing angle and Aspect ratio at 45 ° N at the times of the equinoxes (21 March and 21 September). Oke, 1987

  23. Time sequence of valley inversion destruction along with potential temperature profile at valley center (left) and cross-section of inversion layer and motions (right). (a) nocturnal valley inversion (b) start of sfc. warming after sunrise (c) shrinking stable core & start of slope (d) end of inversion 3-5 hrs. after breezes sunrise (Oke, 1987, based on Whiteman, 1982)

  24. Normalized surface-layer velocity standard deviations for near neutral conditions in the Adige Valley in the northern Italy alpine region. a is from Panofsky and Dutton, 1984; b the average values from MAP; e/u*2is the normalized turbulence kinetic energy (From de Franceschi, 2002).

  25. Main Reference Sources for these Lectures Belcher, S.E. and J.C.R. Hunt, 1998: Turbulent flow over hills and waves. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech.. 30:507-538. Blumen, W., 1990: Atmospheric Processes Over Complex Terrain. American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA. Geiger, R., R.H. Aron and P. Todhunter, 1961: The Climate Near the Ground. Vieweg & Son, Braunschweig. Kaimal, J.C. and J.J. Finnigan, 1994: Atmospheric Boundary Layer Flows. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. Oke, T.R., 1987: Boundary Layer Climates. Routledge, New York. Venkatram, A. and J.C. Wyngaard, Eds.,1988: Lectures on Air Pollution Modeling. American Meteorological Society, Boston MA. Abstracts from the10th Conference on Mountain Meteorology, 17-21 June 2002, Park City, UT, American Meteorological Society, Boston. Suggestions for Further Reading