Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 161, Issue 1, pp 99–126 | Cite as

Characterization and Parametrization of Reynolds Stress and Turbulent Heat Flux in the Stably-Stratified Lower Arctic Troposphere Using Aircraft Measurements

  • Amir A. AliabadiEmail author
  • Ralf M. Staebler
  • Michael Liu
  • Andreas Herber
Research Article


Aircraft measurements are used to characterize properties of clear-air turbulence in the lower Arctic troposphere. For typical vertical resolutions in general circulation models, there is evidence for both downgradient and countergradient vertical turbulent transport of momentum and heat in the mostly statically stable conditions within both the boundary layer and the free troposphere. Countergradient transport is enhanced in the free troposphere compared to the boundary layer. Three parametrizations are suggested to formulate the turbulent heat flux and are evaluated using the observations. The parametrization that accounts for the anisotropic nature of turbulence and buoyancy flux predicts both observed downgradient and countergradient transport of heat more accurately than those that do not. The inverse turbulent Prandtl number is found to only weakly decrease with increasing gradient Richardson number in a statistically significant way, but with large scatter in the data. The suggested parametrizations can potentially improve the performance of regional and global atmospheric models.


Arctic Countergradient flux Parametrization schemes Planetary boundary layer Subgrid-scale turbulence 



The authors acknowledge the assistance of M. Wasey (ECCC), A. Elford (ECCC(ECCC)), M. Gehrman (AWI), C. Konrad (AWI), and J. Burkart (University of Toronto) for recovering and processing of the dataset. Expert reviews of the manuscript by J. de Grandpré, S. Bélair, and P. Makar (ECCC) are appreciated. We are grateful for scientific advice from J. Abbatt (University of Toronto) and R. Leaitch (ECCC), from the executive committee of the NETCARE Project. Our greatest appreciation goes to the editors E. Fedorovich and J. R. Garratt and anonymous reviewers of the manuscript who provided detailed comments along with key literature and suggestions to improve the quality of this manuscript. We thank the Nunavut Research Institute and the Nunavut Impact Review Board for licensing the study. Logistical support in Resolute Bay was provided by the Polar Continental Shelf Project (PCSP) of Natural Resources Canada. Funding for this work was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada under the CCAR NETCARE project, the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).


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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amir A. Aliabadi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ralf M. Staebler
    • 2
  • Michael Liu
    • 2
  • Andreas Herber
    • 3
  1. 1.Building Technology Program, Department of ArchitectureMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Air Quality Research Processes Section (AQRP), Air Quality Research Division (AQRD), Science and Technology Branch (STB)Environment and Climate Change CanadaTorontoCanada
  3. 3.The Alfred Wegener InstituteHelmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany

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