Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 148, Issue 2, pp 333–356 | Cite as

Large-Eddy Atmosphere–Land-Surface Modelling over Heterogeneous Surfaces: Model Development and Comparison with Measurements

  • Yaping ShaoEmail author
  • Shaofeng Liu
  • Jan H. Schween
  • Susanne Crewell


A model is developed for the large-eddy simulation (LES) of heterogeneous atmosphere and land-surface processes. This couples a LES model with a land-surface scheme. New developments are made to the land-surface scheme to ensure the adequate representation of atmosphere–land-surface transfers on the large-eddy scale. These include, (1) a multi-layer canopy scheme; (2) a method for flux estimates consistent with the large-eddy subgrid closure; and (3) an appropriate soil-layer configuration. The model is then applied to a heterogeneous region with 60-m horizontal resolution and the results are compared with ground-based and airborne measurements. The simulated sensible and latent heat fluxes are found to agree well with the eddy-correlation measurements. Good agreement is also found in the modelled and observed net radiation, ground heat flux, soil temperature and moisture. Based on the model results, we study the patterns of the sensible and latent heat fluxes, how such patterns come into existence, and how large eddies propagate and destroy land-surface signals in the atmosphere. Near the surface, the flux and land-use patterns are found to be closely correlated. In the lower boundary layer, small eddies bearing land-surface signals organize and develop into larger eddies, which carry the signals to considerably higher levels. As a result, the instantaneous flux patterns appear to be unrelated to the land-use patterns, but on average, the correlation between them is significant and persistent up to about 650 m. For a given land-surface type, the scatter of the fluxes amounts to several hundred W \(\text{ m }^{-2}\), due to (1) large-eddy randomness; (2) rapid large-eddy and surface feedback; and (3) local advection related to surface heterogeneity.


Atmosphere–land interaction Heterogeneous surfaces  Large-eddy simulation 



This work is supported by the DFG Transregional Cooperative Research Centre 32 “Patterns in Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere-Systems: Monitoring, Modelling and Data Assimilation”. We thank Bruno Neininger (MetAir) for performing and processing of the aircraft measurements, Heiner Geiss (Juelich Research Center), Martin Lennefer, Dirk Schüttemeyer, Stefan Kollet (University Bonn) who supported the micrometeorological measurements, Gerritt Maschwitz for launching the radiosondes.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaping Shao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shaofeng Liu
    • 1
  • Jan H. Schween
    • 1
  • Susanne Crewell
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Geophysics and MeteorologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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