High-Frequency Response of the Atmospheric Electric Potential Gradient Under Strong and Dry Boundary-Layer Convection
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The spectral response of atmospheric electric potential gradient gives important information about phenomena affecting this gradient at characteristic time scales ranging from years (e.g., solar modulation) to fractions of a second (e.g., turbulence). While long-term time scales have been exhaustively explored, short-term scales have received less attention. At such frequencies, space-charge transport inside the planetary boundary layer becomes a sizeable contribution to the potential gradient variability. For the first time, co-located (Évora, Portugal) measurements of boundary-layer backscatter profiles and the 100-Hz potential gradient are reported. Five campaign days are analyzed, providing evidence for a relation between high-frequency response of the potential gradient and strong dry convection.
KeywordsAtmospheric electric potential gradient Convection Planetary boundary-layer backscatter Space-charge dynamics
RC and HGS acknowledge the Renewable Energy Chair for grants attributed by this research facility. RC also acknowledges the FCT Scholarship SFRH/BD/116344/2016. This work is co-funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund, framed in COMPETE 2020 (Operational Programme Competitiveness and Internationalisation) through the ICT Project (UID/GEO/04683/2013) with Reference POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007690 and through the ALOP Project (ALT20-03-0145-FEDER-000004). Thanks are due to AERONET/PHOTONS and RIMA networks for the scientific and technical support. CIMEL calibration was performed at the AERONET-EUROPE GOA calibration centre, supported by ACTRIS under Agreement No. 654109 (H2020-INFRAIA-2014-2015). Gratitude are also given to the TOPROF (ES-1303) and ELECTRONET (CA15211) COST-Actions. Dr. John Chubb is honoured here for his overwhelming contribution to atmospheric electricity. More than a scientist, he was an exceptional person and friend, and he will be missed. A final acknowledgement is given to Giles Harrison and Keri Nicoll for discussions related to the present study.
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