Surface Temperature and Surface-Layer Turbulence in a Convective Boundary Layer
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- Garai, A., Pardyjak, E., Steeneveld, GJ. et al. Boundary-Layer Meteorol (2013) 148: 51. doi:10.1007/s10546-013-9803-4
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Previous laboratory and atmospheric experiments have shown that turbulence influences the surface temperature in a convective boundary layer. The main objective of this study is to examine land-atmosphere coupled heat transport mechanism for different stability conditions. High frequency infrared imagery and sonic anemometer measurements were obtained during the boundary layer late afternoon and sunset turbulence (BLLAST) experimental campaign. Temporal turbulence data in the surface-layer are then analyzed jointly with spatial surface-temperature imagery. The surface-temperature structures (identified using surface-temperature fluctuations) are strongly linked to atmospheric turbulence as manifested in several findings. The surface-temperature coherent structures move at an advection speed similar to the upper surface-layer or mixed-layer wind speed, with a decreasing trend with increase in stability. Also, with increasing instability the streamwise surface-temperature structure size decreases and the structures become more circular. The sequencing of surface- and air-temperature patterns is further examined through conditional averaging. Surface heating causes the initiation of warm ejection events followed by cold sweep events that result in surface cooling. The ejection events occur about 25 % of the time, but account for 60–70 % of the total sensible heat flux and cause fluctuations of up to 30 % in the ground heat flux. Cross-correlation analysis between air and surface temperature confirms the validity of a scalar footprint model.