Urban-rural contrasts in mixing height and cloudiness over Nashville in 1999

Wayne M. Angevine, Allan B. White, Christoph J. Senff, Michael Trainer, Robert M. Banta, Mohammed Ayoub

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Strong contrasts in daytime mixing height (boundary layer [BL] height or zi) between urban and rural areas were observed during the 1999 Nashville Summer Intensive field campaign of the Southern Oxidants Study. On occasion, the urban mixing height was as much as 45% (700 m) higher than that over the rural areas. The difference was quite persistent, showing strongly in statistical comparisons, with a mean difference over all hours available for comparison of 160 m. Clouds had higher bases and were more common over the urban area as well. In this paper, measurements from wind profiling radars, lidars, and aircraft are used to characterize mixing height and clouds. The urban-rural contrasts have important implications for regional air quality. The mixing height is a first-order control on pollutant concentrations. The urban-rural contrast also results in the venting of urban pollutants, affecting the local concentrations and the regional background. Clouds affect air quality by changing the radiative input for photochemistry and through changes in mixing and venting.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Air quality
  • Boundary layer
  • Lidar
  • Mixing depth
  • Radar wind profiler
  • Southern oxidant study
  • Urban heat island

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Angevine, W. M., White, A. B., Senff, C. J., Trainer, M., Banta, R. M., & Ayoub, M. (2003). Urban-rural contrasts in mixing height and cloudiness over Nashville in 1999. Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres, 108(3).