Characteristics of the marine boundary layers during two Lagrangian measurement periods. 2. Turbulence structure

Qing Wang, Donald H. Lenschow, Linlin Pan, Richard D. Schillawski, Gregory L. Kok, Andre S H Prévot, Krista Laursen, Lynn M. Russell, Alan R. Bandy, Donald C. Thornton, Karsten Suhre

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Characteristics of turbulence mixing in remote marine boundary layers are analyzed using aircraft measurements from six flights during the two intensive Lagrangian measurement periods of ACE1 (the southern hemisphere Aerosol Characterization Experiment). The six cases studied here represent a variety of boundary layer conditions in the region south of Tasmania, Australia. Our study indicated that (1) Lagrangian A (LA) had stronger turbulence mixing and entrainment compared to Lagrangian B (LB) due to greater shear generation of turbulence kinetic energy (TKE), (2) strong mesoscale variation in boundary layer turbulence and thus turbulence mixing existed in the ACE1 region during LB due to variations in sea surface temperature (SST), (3) stable thermal stratification in the boundary layer was found during the last flight of each Lagrangian, consequently, TKE decreased rapidly with height resulting in small or near-zero entrainment rate in spite of strong shear forcing at the surface and in the boundary layer; and (4) the buffer layer, which lies above the boundary layer and below the main inversion, had weak and intermittent turbulence mostly associated with cloud bands and cumulus. Evidence of entrainment was found in the buffer layer. However, it is difficult to quantify by flux measurements due to the weak and intermittent nature of the turbulence field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1998JDI00100
Pages (from-to)21767-21784
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue numberD17
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Wang, Q., Lenschow, D. H., Pan, L., Schillawski, R. D., Kok, G. L., Prévot, A. S. H., Laursen, K., Russell, L. M., Bandy, A. R., Thornton, D. C., & Suhre, K. (1999). Characteristics of the marine boundary layers during two Lagrangian measurement periods. 2. Turbulence structure. Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, 104(D17), 21767-21784. [1998JDI00100].