Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 124, Issue 2, pp 269–290 | Cite as

Divergence of turbulent fluxes in the surface layer: case of a coastal city

  • G. Pigeon
  • A. Lemonsu
  • C. S. B. Grimmond
  • P. Durand
  • O. Thouron
  • V. Masson
Original Paper


This study quantifies the processes that take place in the layer between the mean building height and the measurement level of an energy balance micrometeorological tower located in the dense old core of a coastal European city. The contributions of storage, vertical advection, horizontal advection and radiative divergence for heat are evaluated with the available measurements and with a three-dimensional, high-resolution meteorological simulation that had been evaluated against observations. The study focused on a summer period characterized by sea-breeze flows that affect the city. In this specific configuration, it appears that the horizontal advection is the dominant term. During the afternoon when the sea breeze is well established, correction of the sensible heat flux with horizontal heat advection increases the measured sensible heat flux up to 100 W m−2. For latent heat flux, the horizontal moisture advection converted to equivalent latent heat flux suggests a decrease of 50 W m−2. The simulation reproduces well the temporal evolution and magnitude of these terms.


ESCOMPTE-UBL Flux divergence Horizontal and vertical advection Sea breeze Urban energy balance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Pigeon
    • 1
  • A. Lemonsu
    • 1
  • C. S. B. Grimmond
    • 2
  • P. Durand
    • 3
  • O. Thouron
    • 1
  • V. Masson
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre National de Recherches MétéorologiquesMétéo-France/CNRS-GAMEToulouse CedexFrance
  2. 2.Department of GeographyKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Laboratoire d’Aérologie, UMR5560CNRS - Université Paul SabatierToulouse III, ToulouseFrance

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