An examination of structure and parameterization of turbulence in the stably-stratified atmospheric boundary layer Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/xd07gx338

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  • The very stable boundary layer is a region of the atmosphere typified by large vertical gradients of temperature and momentum. Analysis of very stable atmospheric flows is complicated by the presence of nonlinear interactions among gravity waves, shear-driven overturning circulations, two-dimensional vortical modes and intermittent turbulence in various stages of development. This study examines the horizontal structure of a very stable atmospheric boundary layer, using data obtained primarily from terrain-following aircraft flights over central Oklahoma. Several diagnostic procedures are applied to the aircraft data, including classical and rotary spectral analysis, principal component analysis, and structure functions. Coherent structures with sharp boundaries are examined with a new conditional sampling technique which requires little a priori specification of sampling criteria. Because the flows involve sharp boundaries, spectral techniques do not provide as much useful information as other more localized procedures. The edges of the coherent structures are regions of significant vertical heat transport, a feature not often emphasized in studies of gravity waves and vortical modes in the stable boundary layer. The presence of significant turbulence even for large stability has implications for modelling of the very stable boundary layer. Forecasts of minimum temperature, boundary layer height, inversion characteristics, and pollutant dispersal are all significantly affected by turbulent mixing. Many models of the stable boundary layer artificially arrest the mixing under stable conditions, resulting in, for example, overestimates of nocturnal cooling. A new parameterization of the stable boundary layer is studied here by incorporating it into an existing model of the planetary boundary layer. The model is then run with one-dimensional sensitivity tests for an idealized atmosphere and with data from Wangara day 33. A simulation over snow cover is also examined. The tests substantiate the role of vertical mixing in ameliorating nocturnal cooling. An additional improvement is a more realistic boundary layer height for moderate wind speeds.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-05-21T19:34:35Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 RuscherPaulH1987.pdf: 1934545 bytes, checksum: b88d71620d925feacacadf3ba25c2ad6 (MD5) Previous issue date: 1987-10-02
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