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

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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-80
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
12 Apr 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Estimation of turbulence dissipation rate and its variability from sonic anemometer and wind Doppler lidar during the XPIA field campaign
Nicola Bodini1, Julie K. Lundquist1,2, and Rob K. Newsom3 1Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
2National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, USA
3Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA
Abstract. Despite turbulence being a fundamental transport process in the boundary layer, the capability of current numerical models to represent it is undermined by the limits of the adopted assumptions, notably that of local equilibrium. Here we leverage the potential of extensive observations in determining the variability of turbulence dissipation rate (ε). These observations can provide insights towards the understanding of the scales at which the major assumption of local equilibrium between generation and dissipation of turbulence is invalid. Typically, observations of ε require time- and labor-intensive measurements from sonic and/or hot-wire anemometers. We explore the capability of wind Doppler lidars to provide measurements of ε. We refine and extend an existing method to accommodate different atmospheric stability conditions. To validate our approach, we estimate ε from four wind Doppler lidars during the 3-month XPIA campaign at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (Colorado), and we assess the uncertainty of the proposed method by data inter-comparison with sonic anemometer measurements of ε. Our analysis of this extensive dataset provides understanding of the climatology of turbulence dissipation over the course of the campaign. Further, the variability of ε with atmospheric stability, height, and wind speed is also assessed. Finally, we present how ε increases as nocturnal turbulence is generated during low-level jet events.
Citation: Bodini, N., Lundquist, J. K., and Newsom, R. K.: Estimation of turbulence dissipation rate and its variability from sonic anemometer and wind Doppler lidar during the XPIA field campaign, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-80, in review, 2018.
Nicola Bodini et al.
Nicola Bodini et al.

Data sets

XPIA, Sonic Anemometer, BAO Tower, All levels L. Bianco https://doi.org/10.21947/1328878
Nicola Bodini et al.

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Short summary
Turbulence within the atmospheric boundary layer is critically important to transfer heat, momentum and moisture. Currently, improved turubulence parametrizations are crucially needed to refine the accuracy of model results at fine horizontal scales. In this study, we calculate turbulence dissipation rate from sonic anemometers and discuss a novel approach to derive turbulence dissipation from profiling lidar measurements.
Turbulence within the atmospheric boundary layer is critically important to transfer heat,...
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