Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 1–24 | Cite as

Long-term study of coherent structures in the atmospheric surface layer

  • Christian BarthlottEmail author
  • Philippe Drobinski
  • Clément Fesquet
  • Thomas Dubos
  • Christophe Pietras
Original Paper


A long-term study of coherent turbulence structures in the atmospheric surface layer has been carried out using 10 months of turbulence data taken on a 30-m tower under varying meteorological conditions. We use an objective detection technique based on wavelet transforms. The applied technique permits the isolation of the coherent structures from small-scale background fluctuations which is necessary for the development of dynamical models describing the evolution and properties of these phenomena. It was observed that coherent structures occupied 36% of the total time with mean turbulent flux contributions of 44% for momentum and 48% for heat. The calculation of a transport efficiency parameter indicates that coherent structures transport heat more efficiently than momentum. Furthermore, the transport efficiency increases with increasing contribution of the structures to the overall transport.


Atmospheric surface layer Coherent structures Microfront Turbulence measurements Wavelet analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Barthlott
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Philippe Drobinski
    • 3
  • Clément Fesquet
    • 1
  • Thomas Dubos
    • 1
  • Christophe Pietras
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Institut Pierre Simon LaplaceÉcole PolytechniquePalaiseauFrance
  2. 2.Institut für Meteorologie und KlimaforschungUniversität Karlsruhe/Forschungszentrum KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.Service d’Aéronomie, Institut Pierre Simon LaplaceUniversité Pierre et Marie CurieParisFrance

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