Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 261–292

Airborne Investigation Of Arctic Boundary-Layer Fronts Over The Marginal Ice Zone Of The Davis Strait


  • C. Drüe
    • Meteorologisches Institut der Universität Bonn (MIUB)
  • G. Heinemann
    • Meteorologisches Institut der Universität Bonn (MIUB)

DOI: 10.1023/A:1019223513815

Cite this article as:
Drüe, C. & Heinemann, G. Boundary-Layer Meteorology (2001) 101: 261. doi:10.1023/A:1019223513815


Three aircraft-based studies of boundary-layer fronts (BLFs) werecarried out during the experiment KABEG in April 1997near the sea-ice edge over the Davis Strait. The zone of strongestcross-front horizontal gradients showed a typical length scaleof 20 km, while the along-front scale was observed to beseveral hundreds of kilometres.The observed BLFs were stronger than the few previously reportedcases. Horizontal gradients of potential temperature and specifichumidity ranged up to 3 K or 0.25 g kg-1over 20 km, respectively.Low-level winds were around 15 m s-1 parallel to the ice edge.The capping inversion sloped from between250 and 400 m over sea ice to between 400 and 700 m over ocean.

For two BLF cases turbulent fluxes and energy budgets are calculated.Turbulent energy fluxes show a factor 2 to 3 contrast acrossthe ice edge and range from 15 to 50 W m-2 over sea iceand from 50 to 100 W m-1 over open ocean.The mean boundary-layer energy budgets are dominated bycold, dry horizontal advection, which is exceededby vertical heat flux convergence.The momentum budgets are dominated by pressure gradient force,Coriolis force and momentum flux divergence.

ACSYSAircraft experimentArctic boundary-layer frontsSea-ice edge

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001