Journal of Earth System Science

, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 63–77 | Cite as

Thermal internal boundary layer characteristics at a tropical coastal site as observed by a mini-SODAR under varying synoptic conditions

  • Thara V. Prabha
  • R. Venkatesan
  • Erich Mursch-Radlgruber
  • G. Rengarajan
  • N. Jayanthi


Atmospheric boundary layer observations are conducted at a coastal site during a transition phase from winter to summer season over the Indian peninsula. Thermal Internal Boundary Layer (TIBL) characteristics in presence of an off-shore and a weakly influenced on-shore synoptic wind are examined with the help of measurements carried out with a mini-SODAR (SOund Detection And Ranging), tethered balloon, and tower-based micrometeorological measurements. Influence of the changing synoptic scale conditions on turbulent characteristics of TIBL is discussed.

Mini-SODAR data showed the development and decay of sea and land breeze. It is seen that the characteristics of TIBL over the coastal land after sea breeze onset are similar to that of a shallow convective boundary layer (CBL) commonly found over plain land. Inside the TIBL, a maximum wind speed was noted close to the surface due to the penetration of sea breeze. In the off-shore case, a distinct sea breeze circulation was observed unlike in the case of on-shore flow. In the presence of weak on-shore case, a ‘minor sea’ breeze is noted before the establishment of sea breeze and a reduction in the momentum fluxes gives rise to decrease in the turbulence intensity. Updraft in the sea breeze front was stronger during weak synoptic conditions. Influence of synoptic changes on the sea breeze-land breeze circulation such as onset, strength and duration of the sea-land breeze are also examined.


Sea breeze thermal internal boundary layer turbulence SODAR 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thara V. Prabha
    • 1
  • R. Venkatesan
    • 2
  • Erich Mursch-Radlgruber
    • 3
  • G. Rengarajan
    • 3
  • N. Jayanthi
    • 4
  1. 1.Crop and Soil SciencesUniversity of GeorgiaGAUSA
  2. 2.Health and Safety Division, SHINE GroupIGCARKalpakkamIndia
  3. 3.Boundary Layer Meteorology DivisionInstitut fuer Meteorologie und Physik (IMP-BOKU)WienAustria
  4. 4.India Meteorological DepartmentChennaiIndia

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