Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 153, Issue 1, pp 43–62 | Cite as

On the Structure and Adjustment of Inversion-Capped Neutral Atmospheric Boundary-Layer Flows: Large-Eddy Simulation Study

  • Jesper G. Pedersen
  • Sven-Erik Gryning
  • Mark KellyEmail author


A range of large-eddy simulations, with differing free atmosphere stratification and zero or slightly positive surface heat flux, is investigated to improve understanding of the neutral and near-neutral, inversion-capped, horizontally homogeneous, barotropic atmospheric boundary layer with emphasis on the upper region. We find that an adjustment time of at least 16 h is needed for the simulated flow to reach a quasi-steady state. The boundary layer continues to grow, but at a slow rate that changes little after 8 h of simulation time. A common feature of the neutral simulations is the development of a super-geostrophic jet near the top of the boundary layer. The analytical wind-shear models included do not account for such a jet, and the best agreement with simulated wind shear is seen in cases with weak stratification above the boundary layer. Increasing the surface heat flux decreases the magnitude and vertical extent of the jet and leads to better agreement between analytical and simulated wind-speed profiles. Over a range of different inversion strengths and surface heat fluxes, we also find good agreement between the performed simulations and models of the equilibrium boundary-layer height, and of the budget of turbulent kinetic energy integrated across the boundary layer.


Inversion strength Large-eddy simulation Neutral atmospheric boundary layer Wind profiles 



The study was supported by the Danish Council for Strategic Research, project number 2104-08-0025 named Tall Wind. We would like to thank Branko Kosović for valuable cooperation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesper G. Pedersen
    • 1
  • Sven-Erik Gryning
    • 1
  • Mark Kelly
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.DTU Wind EnergyRisø Campus of the Technical University of DenmarkRoskildeDenmark

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