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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 18 Jan 2019

Research article | 18 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Analysis of Flow in Complex Terrain Using Multi-Doppler Lidar Retrievals

Tyler Bell1,2, Petra Klein1,2, Norman Wildmann3, and Robert Menke4 Tyler Bell et al.
  • 1School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
  • 3Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Münchener Str. 20, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 4Technical University of Denmark - DTU Wind Energy, Fredriksborgvej 399, Building 118, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark

Abstract. The Perdigão Field Experiment set out to study atmospheric flows in complex terrain and to collect a high-quality dataset for the validation of meso- and micro-scale models. An Intensive Observation Period (IOP) was conducted from May 1, 2017 through June 15, 2017 where a multitude of meteorological instruments were deployed in a study area with the unique feature of two nearly parallel, 5 km long ridges separated by a 1.4 km wide valley perpendicular to the prevalent wind directions in the region. An essential part of the instrumentation were scanning Doppler lidars (DL) strategically placed to capture flow features above the ridges and in the valley. The arrangement of DLs presented an opportunity to create virtual towers where range height indicator (RHI) scans of individual instruments intersected. By combining DLs it is possible to retrieve multiple snapshots of the wind field in the form of a virtual tower. In total, four virtual towers distributed along the valley are retrieved every 15 minutes. The virtual towers typically cover heights from 50 m to 600 m above the valley floor. The Perdigão project also included a network of meteorological towers of different heights with wind measurements at an exceptionally high density (55 towers with 195 sonic anemometers) that are critical for studying turbulent exchange processes but provide only limited information about the complex interactions between the flow inside the valley and higher up across the ridges. The virtual towers extend the range of traditional in-situ observations and can fill in low altitude areas where traditional lidar processing techniques may have trouble retrieving accurate wind speeds due to the high spatial flow variability and prevalence of significant vertical motions in complex terrain. Along with the wind speed and direction, uncertainties of the virtual tower retrieval were analyzed. A case study of a nighttime stable boundary-layer flow with wave features in the valley is presented to illustrate the usefulness of the virtual towers in analyzing the spatially complex flow over the ridges during the Perdigão campaign.

Tyler Bell et al.
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Tyler Bell et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This study investigates the utility of using multi-Doppler retrievals during the Perdigão 2017 campaign. By combining scans from the multitude of Doppler lidars, it was possible to derive virtual towers that greatly extend the range of traditional in-situ meteorological towers. Uncertainties from the measurements are analyzed and discussed. Despite multiple sources of error, it was found that the virtual towers are useful for analyzing the complex flows observed during the campaign.
This study investigates the utility of using multi-Doppler retrievals during the Perdigão 2017...