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Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 166, Issue 1, pp 69–81 | Cite as

High-Frequency Response of the Atmospheric Electric Potential Gradient Under Strong and Dry Boundary-Layer Convection

  • Ricardo Conceição
  • Hugo Gonçalves Silva
  • Alec Bennett
  • Rui Salgado
  • Daniele Bortoli
  • Maria João Costa
  • Manuel Collares Pereira
Research Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Atmospheric electric potential gradient Convection Planetary boundary-layer backscatter Space-charge dynamics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Conceição
    • 1
  • Hugo Gonçalves Silva
    • 1
  • Alec Bennett
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rui Salgado
    • 4
  • Daniele Bortoli
    • 4
  • Maria João Costa
    • 4
  • Manuel Collares Pereira
    • 1
  1. 1.Renewable Energies Chair, IIFAUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal
  2. 2.Bristol Industrial and Research Associates Limited (Biral)BristolUK
  3. 3.Department of Electronic and Electrical EngineeringUniversity of BathBathUK
  4. 4.Department of Physics, ICT, Institute of Earth SciencesUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal

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