Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 143, Issue 1, pp 143–158 | Cite as

Study of Mesobeta Basin Flows by Remote Sensing

  • J. CuxartEmail author
  • J. Cunillera
  • M. A. Jiménez
  • D. Martínez
  • F. Molinos
  • J. L. Palau


If no well-defined synoptic pressure gradients exist over a basin, flows can develop at a variety of scales, the main generators of circulations being spatial thermal differences. These dynamics are studied for the eastern Ebro basin, at the north-eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, almost isolated from the surrounding areas by mountain ranges. The main tool for the study is the new RASS-Sodar by Scintec, the WindRASS, which combines sound and radio waves to provide profiles of wind and virtual temperature up to 360 m above the ground in the present configuration. One year of operation shows that low-level jets are found routinely, their maximum speed being at a height below 500 m above ground level. The jets are from a constant direction for several hours over the whole observed column, with rapid transitions between these periods. They allow for efficient heat transport at the basin scale and are good producers of vertical mixing due to the strong wind shear. In summer the irrigated plain has larger thermal contrast with the dry slopes, and the winds are stronger than in winter, when katabatic flows can develop at night and usually radiation fog appears and may last for days.


Basin flows Low-level jet Satellite-derived surface temperatures Stable boundary layer WindRASS Unmanned aerial vehicle 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Cuxart
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Cunillera
    • 2
  • M. A. Jiménez
    • 1
  • D. Martínez
    • 1
  • F. Molinos
    • 1
  • J. L. Palau
    • 3
  1. 1.Grup de Meteorologia, Departament de FísicaUniversitat de les Illes BalearsPalmaSpain
  2. 2.Àrea de Recerca i ModelitzacióServei Meteorològic de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Àrea de dinàmica de contaminantsCentre d’Estudis Ambientals del MediterraniValenciaSpain

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