Characteristics of intermittent turbulence in the upper stable boundary layer over Greenland

Abstract

The experiment IGLOS (Investigation of the Greenland Boundary Layer Over Summit) was conducted in June and July 2002 in the central plateau of the Greenland inland ice. The German research aircraft Polar2, equipped with the turbulence measurement system Meteopod, was used to investigate turbulence and radiation flux profiles near research station “Summit Camp”. Aircraft measurements are combined with measurements of radiation fluxes and turbulent quantities made from a 50 m tower at Summit Camp operated by Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich. During all six flight missions, well-developed stable boundary layers were found. Even in high-wind conditions, the surface inversion thickness did not exceed roughly 100 m. The turbulent height of the stable boundary layer (SBL) was found to be much smaller than the surface inversion thickness. Above the surface layer, significant turbulent fluxes occurred only intermittently in intervals on the order of a few kilometres. Turbulent event fraction in the upper SBL shows the same dependence on gradient Richardson number as reported for near-surface measurements. Clear-air longwave radiation divergence was always found to contribute significantly to the SBL heat budget. In low-wind cases, radiative cooling even turned out to be dominant.

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Drüe, C., Heinemann, G. Characteristics of intermittent turbulence in the upper stable boundary layer over Greenland. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 124, 361–381 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10546-007-9175-8

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Keywords

  • Aircraft-based study
  • Greenland summit
  • Intermittent turbulence
  • Stable boundary layer