Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp 401–427

Improvement of the K-profile Model for the Planetary Boundary Layer based on Large Eddy Simulation Data


  • Y. Noh
    • Department of Atmospheric SciencesYonsei University
  • W. G. Cheon
    • Department of Atmospheric SciencesYonsei University
  • S. Y. Hong
    • Department of Atmospheric SciencesYonsei University
  • S. Raasch
    • Institute of Meteorology and ClimatologyUniversity of Hannover

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022146015946

Cite this article as:
Noh, Y., Cheon, W.G., Hong, S.Y. et al. Boundary-Layer Meteorology (2003) 107: 401. doi:10.1023/A:1022146015946


Modifications of the widely used K-profile model of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), reported by Troen and Mahrt (TM) in 1986, are proposed and their effects examined by comparison with large eddy simulation (LES) data. The modifications involve three parts. First, the heat flux from the entrainment at the inversion layer is incorporated into the heat and momentum profiles, and it is used to predict the growth of the PBL directly. Second, profiles of the velocity scale and the Prandtl number in the PBL are proposed, in contrast to the constant values used in the TM model. Finally, non-local mixing of momentum was included. The results from the new PBL model and the original TM model are compared with LES data. The TM model was found to give too high PBL heights in the PBL with strong shear, and too low heights for the convection-dominated PBL, which causes unrealistic heat flux profiles. The new PBL model improves the predictability of the PBL height and produces profiles that are more realistic. Moreover, the new PBL model produces more realistic profiles of potential temperature and velocity. We also investigated how each of these three modifications affects the results, and found that explicit representation of the entrainment rate is the most critical.

K-profile modelLarge eddy simulation (LES)Non-local mixingPlanetary boundary layer (PBL)PBL model
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003