Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 189-217

First online:

A Case Study Of An On-Ice Air Flow Over The Arctic Marginal Sea-Ice Zone

  • Timo VihmaAffiliated withFinnish Institute of Marine Research
  • , Jörg HartmannAffiliated withAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
  • , Christof LüpkesAffiliated withAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

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A case study of warm air advection over the Arctic marginalsea-ice zone is presented, based on aircraft observations with direct flux measurements carriedout in early spring, 1998. A shallow atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) was observed, which wasgradually cooling with distance downwind of the ice edge. This process was mainly connected with astrong stable stratification and downward turbulent heat fluxes of about 10–20 W m-2, but wasalso due to radiative cooling. Two mesoscale models, one hydrostatic and the other non-hydrostatic,having different turbulence closures, were applied. Despite these fundamental differences betweenthe models, the results of both agreed well with the observed data. Various closure assumptions had amore crucial influence on the results than the differences between the models.Such an assumption was, for example,the parameterization of the surface roughness for momentum (z0) and heat (zT). This stronglyaffected the wind and temperature fields not only close to the surface but also within and abovethe temperature inversion layer. The best results were achieved using a formulation for z0 that took intoaccount the form drag effect of sea-ice ridges together withzT = 0.1z0. The stability within theelevated inversion strongly depended on the minimum eddy diffusivity Kmin. A simple ad hocparameterization seems applicable, where Kmin is calculated as 0.005 timesthe neutral eddy diffusivity. Although the longwave radiative cooling was largest within the ABL, theapplication of a radiation scheme was less important there than above the ABL. This was related to theinteraction of the turbulent and radiative fluxes. To reproduce the strong inversion, it wasnecessary to use vertical and horizontal resolutions higher than those applied in most regional andlarge-scale atmospheric models.

Arctic marginal sea-ice zone Mesoscale modelling On-ice air flow Roughness lengths Stable boundary layer Turbulent andradiative fluxes