, Volume 87, Issue 1-4, pp 201-211
Date: 27 Apr 2006

Water vapour flux profiles in the convective boundary layer

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Summary

Water vapour flux profiles in the atmospheric boundary layer have been derived from measurements of water vapour density fluctuations by a ground-based Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) and of vertical wind fluctuations by a ground-based Doppler lidar. The data were collected during the field experiment LITFASS-2003 in May/June 2003 in the area of Lindenberg, Germany. The eddy-correlation method was applied, and error estimates of ±50 W/m2 for latent heat flux were found. Since the sampling error dominates the overall measurement accuracy, time intervals between 60 and 120 min were required for a reliable flux calculation, depending on wind speed. Rather large errors may occur with low wind speed because the diurnal cycle restricts the useful interval length. In the lower height range, these measurements are compared with DIAL/radar-RASS fluxes. The agreement is good when comparing covariance and error values. The lidar flux profiles are well complemented by tower measurements at 50 and 90 m above ground and by area-averaged near surface fluxes from a network of micrometeorological stations. Water vapour flux profiles in the convective boundary layer exhibit different structures mainly depending on the magnitude of the entrainment flux. In situations with dry air above the boundary layer a positive entrainment flux is observed which can even exceed the surface flux. Flux profiles which linearly increase from the surface to the top of the boundary layer are observed as well as profiles which decrease in the lower part and increase in the upper part of the boundary layer. In situations with humid air above the boundary layer the entrainment flux is about zero in the upper part of the boundary layer and the profiles in most cases show a linear decrease.