The use of conserved variables in the modeling and parameterization of shallow cumulus trade wind boundary layers Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/n583xx862

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  • A time dependent model of the shallow, tropical convective boundary layer is developed and tested. To simplify the treatment of thermodynamic processes and return to first principles of physics, conserved quantities of entropy and total water density are used as primary model variables. In addition, a new shallow cumulus parameterization scheme is developed and is based on the use of a time dependent cloud kinetic energy equation combining local concepts of cloud processes with the use of a special buoyancy length scale. Two model simulations are performed in an attempt to assess the model's performance and the effectiveness of the parameterization scheme. Results indicate that the model does a reasonable job in both representing the equilibrium structure of a shallow convective boundary layer and in generating a realistic boundary layer structure from an initial state consisting of a shallow moist layer with dry air aloft. The cumulus parameterization scheme appears to adequately represent the transport of thermodynamic quantities associated with convective activity and the use of conserved variables provides an effective way of representing the boundary layer structure and treating the mixing processes associated with cloud processes. This work illustrates the usefulness of generalized conserved variables, particularly entropy and total water density, and indicates that the general approach of using a time dependent cloud kinetic energy equation may be effective for representing thermodynamic processes in the tropical boundary layer.
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