Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 169, Issue 4, pp 741–753 | Cite as

Impact of Annular Solar Eclipse of 15 January 2010 on the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Characteristics Over Thumba: A Case Study

  • D. Bala SubrahamanyamEmail author
  • T. J. Anurose
  • Mannil Mohan
  • M. Santosh
  • N. V. P. Kiran Kumar
  • S. Sijikumar


On 15 January 2010, Thumba (8.5°N, 76.9°E) witnessed one of the longest known noontime annular solar eclipses (ASEs) spanning a period of about 7 min, centered at 1314 hours local time. In this research article, we present a case study on the behaviour of the atmospheric boundary layer characteristics and its vertical structure in response to this rare celestial event by making use of a suite of different in-situ instruments. During the peak period of the ASE, the incoming solar irradiance was dimmed by about 87% of its normal values, resulting in a significant reduction in the magnitudes of turbulent kinetic energy and surface-layer turbulent fluxes of heat and momentum. The intensity and vertical thickness of the sea/land breeze circulation cell over the study domain also weakened. However, the mixed layer heights determined from balloon-borne GPS Radiosonde did not show any appreciable changes. Analysis of vertical profiles of thermodynamic parameters in association with the wind direction during ASE indicated the formation of a double mixed layer between 700 and 1500 m and is attributed to horizontal advection of a different airmass at those altitudes.


Annual solar eclipse atmospheric boundary layer capping inversion double mixed layer sea-breeze sensible heat flux turbulent kinetic energy 



We sincerely acknowledge the contribution of all the members from Space Physics Laboratory and Meteorological Facility, VSSC for their dedicated team-spirit during the Annular Solar Eclipse campaign. We wish to record our special mention of thanks to Prof. R. Sridharan, Former Director, SPL and Dr. K. Krishnamoorthy, Director, SPL for their guidance in successful execution of the field experiment. We are also very much grateful to Dr. S. Satyanarayana, Group Director, RF Advanced Technology and Facilities Division, VSSC and his colleagues for their technical support for balloon-borne GPS ascents and data recording. One of the authors, Ms. T. J. Anurose, is thankful to the Indian Space Research Organization for sponsoring fellowship for her Ph.D. research work. We are also thankful to an anonymous reviewer whose constructive criticism helped in improving the contents of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Bala Subrahamanyam
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. J. Anurose
    • 1
  • Mannil Mohan
    • 1
  • M. Santosh
    • 1
  • N. V. P. Kiran Kumar
    • 1
  • S. Sijikumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Department of SpaceGovernment of India, Indian Space Research OrganizationThiruvananthapuramIndia

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