Turbulence Regimes and Turbulence Intermittency in the Stable Boundary Layer during CASES-99 Public Deposited

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  • An investigation of nocturnal intermittent turbulence during the Cooperative Atmosphere Surface Exchange Study in 1999 (CASES-99) revealed three turbulence regimes at each observation height: 1) regime 1, a weak turbulence regime when the wind speed is less than a threshold value; 2) regime 2, a strong turbulence regime when the wind speed exceeds the threshold value; and 3) regime 3, a moderate turbulence regime when top-down turbulence sporadically bursts into the otherwise weak turbulence regime. For regime 1, the strength of small turbulence eddies is correlated with local shear and weakly related to local stratification. For regime 2, the turbulence strength increases systematically with wind speed as a result of turbulence generation by the bulk shear, which scales with the observation height. The threshold wind speed marks the transition above which the boundary layer approaches near-neutral conditions, where the turbulent mixing substantially reduces the stratification and temperature fluctuations. The preference of the turbulence regimes during CASES-99 is closely related to the existence and the strength of low-level jets. Because of the different roles of the bulk and local shear with regard to turbulence generation under different wind conditions, the relationship between turbulence strength and the local gradient Richardson number varies for the different turbulence regimes. Turbulence intermittency at any observation height was categorized in three ways: turbulence magnitude oscillations between regimes 1 and 2 as wind speed varies back and forth across its threshold value, episodic turbulence enhancements within regime 1 as a result of local instability, and downbursts of turbulence in regime 3.
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  • Sun, J., Mahrt, L., Banta, R., & Pichugina, Y. (2012). Turbulence regimes and turbulence intermittency in the stable boundary layer during CASES-99. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 69(1), 338-351. doi: 10.1175/JAS-D-11-082.1
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  • 69
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  • 1
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  • The study was supported by U.S. Army Research Office, MIPR3KNSFAR057, and the NOAA Air Quality Program.
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