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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/amt-2017-35
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
13 Feb 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Evaluation of Turbulence Measurement Techniques from a Single Doppler Lidar
Timothy A. Bonin1,2, Aditya Choukulkar1,2, W. Alan Brewer2, Scott P. Sandberg2, Ann M. Weickmann1,2, Yelena Pichugina1,2, Robert M. Banta2, Steven P. Oncley3, and Daniel E. Wolfe4 1Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
2Chemical Sciences Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, USA
3National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
4Physical Sciences Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Abstract. Measurements of turbulence are essential to understand and quantify the transport and dispersal of heat, moisture, momentum, and trace gases within the planetary boundary layer. Through the years, various techniques to measure turbulence using Doppler lidar observations have been proposed. However, the accuracy of these measurements has rarely been validated against trusted in situ instrumentation. Herein, data from the eXperimental Planetary boundary layer Instrumentation Assessment (XPIA) are used to verify Doppler lidar turbulence profiles through comparison with sonic anemometer measurements. For 17 days at the end of the experiment, a single scanning Doppler lidar continuously cycled through different turbulence measurement strategies: velocity azimuth display, six-beam, and range height indicators with a vertical stare.

Measurements of turbulence kinetic energy, turbulence intensity, and shear velocity from these techniques are compared with sonic anemometer measurements at six heights on a 300-m tower. The six-beam technique is found to generally measure turbulence kinetic energy and turbulence intensity the most accurately at all heights, showing little bias in its observations. Turbulence measurements from the velocity azimuth display method tended to biased low near the surface, as large eddies were not captured by the scan. None of the methods evaluated were able to consistently accurately measure the shear velocity. Each of the scanning strategies assessed had its own strengths and limitations that need to be considered when selecting the method used in future experiments.


Citation: Bonin, T. A., Choukulkar, A., Brewer, W. A., Sandberg, S. P., Weickmann, A. M., Pichugina, Y., Banta, R. M., Oncley, S. P., and Wolfe, D. E.: Evaluation of Turbulence Measurement Techniques from a Single Doppler Lidar, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2017-35, in review, 2017.
Timothy A. Bonin et al.
Timothy A. Bonin et al.
Timothy A. Bonin et al.

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Short summary
Three different techniques for measuring turbulent quantities from a single Doppler lidar are evaluated against in situ observations for verification. A six-beam method generally produced the most accurate measurements of the turbulence quantities evaluated. Generally, turbulence kinetic energy can be accurately measured across all scales from a Doppler lidar. Individual velocity variances are measured less accurately, and velocity covariances are shown to be difficult to measure.
Three different techniques for measuring turbulent quantities from a single Doppler lidar are...
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