Repository: Freie Universität Berlin, Math Department

Effects Of Changing Surface Heat Flux On Atmospheric Boundary-Layer Flow Over Flat Terrain

Owinoh, A.Z. and Hunt, J. and Orr, A. and Clark, P. and Klein, R. and Fernando, H. and Nieuwstadt, F. (2005) Effects Of Changing Surface Heat Flux On Atmospheric Boundary-Layer Flow Over Flat Terrain. Boundary Layer Meterology, 116 (2). pp. 331-361.

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We examine the unsteady response of a neutral atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) of depth h and friction velocity u * when a uniform surface heat flux is applied abruptly or decreased rapidly over a time scale t<inf>thetas</inf> less than about h /(10u *). Standard Monin–Obukhov (MO) relationships are used for the perturbed eddy viscosity profile in terms of the changes to the heat flux and mean shear. Analytical solutions for changes in temperature, mean wind and shear stress profile are obtained for the surface layer, when there are small changes in h /|LMO| over the time scale tMO~|L MO|/(10u*) (where L MO and t MO are the length and time scales, respectively). They show that a maximum in the wind speed profile occurs at the top of the thermal boundary layer for weak surface cooling, i.e. a wind jet, whereas there is a flattening of the profile and no marked maximum for weak surface heating. The modelled profiles are approximately the same as those obtained from the U.K. Met Office Unified Model when operating as a mesoscale model at 12-km horizontal resolution. The theoretical model is modified when strong surface heating is suddenly applied, resulting in a large change in h /|L MO| (>>1), over the time scale t MO. The eddy structure is predicted to change significantly and the addition of convective turbulence increases the shear turbulence at the ground. A low-level wind jet can form, with convective turbulence adding to the mean momentum of the flow. This was verified by our laboratory experiment and direct numerical simulations. Additionally, it is shown that the effects of Coriolis acceleration diminish (rather than as suggested in the literature, amplify) the formation of the wind jets in the situations considered here. Hence, only when the surface heat flux changes over time scales greater than 1/f (where f is the Coriolis parameter) does the ABL adjust monotonically between its equilibrium states. These results are also applicable to the ABL passing over spatially varying surface heat fluxes.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Atmospheric boundary-layer modelling; Convection; Low-level jets; Surface heat flux; Surface-layer structure
Subjects:Mathematical and Computer Sciences > Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
Divisions:Department of Mathematics and Computer Science > Institute of Mathematics > Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Group
ID Code:546
Deposited By: Ulrike Eickers
Deposited On:16 Jul 2009 13:51
Last Modified:16 Jul 2009 13:51

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