Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 133, Issue 3–4, pp 1191–1205 | Cite as

Effect of roughness lengths on surface energy and the planetary boundary layer height over high-altitude Ngoring Lake

  • Zhaoguo Li
  • Shihua Lyu
  • Lijuan Wen
  • Lin Zhao
  • Xianhong Meng
  • Yinhuan Ao
Original Paper


The special climate environment creates a distinctive air-lake interaction characteristic in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) lakes, where the variations of surface roughness lengths also differ somewhat from those of other regions. However, how different categories of roughness lengths affect the lake surface energy exchange and the planetary boundary layer height (PBLH) remains unclear in the TP lakes. In this study, we used a tuned Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.6.1 to investigate the responses of the freeze-up date, turbulent fluxes, meteorological variables, and PBLH to surface roughness length variations in Ngoring Lake. Of all meteorological variables, the lake surface temperature responded to roughness length variations most sensitively; increasing roughness lengths can put the lake freeze-up date forward. The effect of momentum roughness length on wind speed was significantly affected by the fetch length. The increase in the roughness length for heat can induce the increment of the nightly PBLH in most months, especially for the central lake area in autumn. The primary factors that contribute to sensible heat flux (H) and latent heat flux (LE) were the roughness lengths for heat and momentum during the ice-free period, respectively. Increasing roughness length for heat can increase the nightly PBLH, and decreasing roughness length for moisture can also promote growth of the PBLH, but there was no obvious correlation between the momentum roughness length and the PBLH.



This research was supported by the Science and Technology Service Network Initiative of CAREERI (No. 651671001), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41605011, 91637107, 91537214, 41405020, 41405015, 41405016, 41775016, 41675020), the Foundation for Excellent Youth Scholars of NIEER, CAS (Y651K51001), and the Opening Research Foundation of Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Chinese Academy of Sciences (LPCC201504). We acknowledge computing resources and time on the Supercomputing Center, Big Data Center of CAREERI, CAS, and Guohui Zhao for their help with numerical simulations. We thank anonymous reviewers and Lucid Papers English language editing for their valuable assistance with the manuscript.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and ResourcesChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, School of Atmospheric SciencesChengdu University of Information TechnologyChengduChina
  3. 3.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological DisastersNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina

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