# Surface Temperature and Surface-Layer Turbulence in a Convective Boundary Layer

## Abstract

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.

## Keywords

Atmospheric surface layer Convective boundary layer Infra-red imagery Surface-layer plumes Surface temperature## Notes

### Acknowledgments

We thank (i) Daniel Alexander from University of Utah, USA; Dr. Marie Lothon, Dr. Fabienne Lohou, Solene Derrien from Laboratoire d’Aérologie, Université de Toulouse, France; Dr. Arnold Moene, Dr. Oscar Hartogensis, Anneke Van de Boer from Wageningen University, Netherlands for field assistance, data sharing and discussion; (ii) Peter Cottle and Anders Nottrott from University of California, San Diego for pre-experimental laboratory assistance and discussion about the data analysis respectively; (iii) BLLAST organizers for their hospitality during the experiment; (iv) funding from a NASA New Investigator Program award for AG and JK, and from INSU-CNRS (Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers, Centre national de la Recherche Scientifique, LEFE-IDAO program), Météo-France, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (University of Toulouse), EUFAR (EUropean Facility for Airborne Research) and COST ES0802 (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical) for the BLLAST field experiment.

## Supplementary material

## References

- Balick LK, Jeffery CA, Henderson B (2003) Turbulence induced spatial variation of surface temperature in high resolution thermal IR satellite imagery. Proc SPIE 4879:221–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ballard JR, Smith JA, Koenig GG (2004) Towards a high temporal frequency grass canopy thermal IR model for background signatures. Proc SPIE 5431:251–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bastiaanssen WGM, Menenti M, Feddes RA, Holstag AAM (1998a) A remote sensing surface energy balance algorithm for land (SEBAL) 1 formulation. J Hydrol 212–213:198–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bastiaanssen WGM, Pelgrum H, Wang J, Ma J, Moreno JF, Roerink GJ, van der Wal T (1998b) A remote sensing surface energy balance algorithm for land (SEBAL) 2 validation. J Hydrol 212–213:213–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Braaten DA, Shaw RH, Paw UKT (1993) Boundary-layer flow structures associated with particle reentrainment. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 65:255–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Campbell GS, Norman JM (1998) An introduction to environmental biophysics. Springer, New York, 286 ppGoogle Scholar
- Carslaw HS, Jaeger JC (1959) Conduction of heat in solids. Oxford University Press, London, 510 ppGoogle Scholar
- Castellvi F (2004) Combining surface renewal analysis and similarity theory: a new approach for estimating sensible heat flux. Water Resour Res 40:W05201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Castellvi F, Snyder RL (2009) Combining the dissipation method and surface renewal analysis to estimate scalar fluxes from the time traces over rangeland grass near Ione (California). Hydrol Process 23:842–857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Castellvi F, Perez PJ, Ibanez M (2002) A method based on high-frequency temperature measurements to estimate the sensible heat flu avoiding the height dependence. Water Resour Res 38(6):1084CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Christen A, Voogt JA (2009) Linking atmospheric turbulence and surface temperature fluctuations in a street canyon. Paper no. A3–6. The 7th international conference on urban climate, YokohomaGoogle Scholar
- Christen A, Voogt JA (2010) Inferring turbulent exchange process in an urban street canyon from high-frequency thermography. Paper no. J3A.3. 9th symposium on the urban environment, KeystoneGoogle Scholar
- Christen A, Meier F, Scherer D (2012) High-frequency fluctuations of surface temperatures in an urban environment. Theor Appl Climatol 108:301–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Derksen DS (1974) Thermal infrared pictures and the mapping of microclimate. Neth J Agric Sci 22:119–132Google Scholar
- Foken T, Wimmer F, Mauder M, Thomas C, Liebethal C (2006) Some aspects of the energy balance closure problem. Atmos Chem Phys 6:4395–4402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gao W, Shaw RH, Paw UKT (1989) Observation of organized structure in turbulent flow within and above a forest canopy. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 47:349–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Garai A, Kleissl J (2011) Air and surface temperature coupling in the convective atmospheric boundary layer. J Atmos Sci 68:2945–2954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gurka R, Liberzon A, Hestroni G (2004) Detecting coherent patterns in a flume by using PIV and IR imaging techniques. Exp Fluids 37:230–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hestroni G, Rozenblit R (1994) Heat transfer to a liquid-solid mixture in a flume. Int J Multiphase Flow 20:671–689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hestroni G, Kowalewski TA, Hu B, Mosyak A (2001) Tracking of coherent thermal structures on a heated wall by means of infrared thermography. Exp Fluids 30:286–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hommema SE, Adrian RJ (2003) Packet structure of surface eddies in the atmospheric boundary layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 106:147–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Howard LN (1966) Convection at high Rayleigh number. In: Görtler H (ed) Proceedings of the 11th international congress on applied mechanics. Springer, San Diego, pp 1109–1115Google Scholar
- Hsieh C-I, Katul GG, Chi T (2000) An approximate analytical model for footprint estimation of scalar fluxes in thermally stratified atmospheric flows. Adv Water Resour 23:765–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hunt JCR, Vrieling AJ, Nieuwstadt FTM, Fernando HJS (2003) The influence of the thermal diffusivity of the lower boundary on eddy motion in convection. J Fluid Mech 491:183–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jayalakshmy MS, Philip J (2010) Thermophysical properties of plant leaves and their influence on the environment temperature. Int J Thermophys 31:2295–2304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kaimal JC, Businger JA (1970) Case studies of a convective plume and a dust devil. J Appl Meteorol 9:612–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kaimal JC, Wyngard JC, Haugen DA, Cote OR, Izumi Y (1976) Turbulence structure in the convective boundary layer. J Atmos Sci 33:2152–2169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Katul GG, Schieldge J, Hsieh C-I, Vidakovic B (1998) Skin temperature perturbations induced by surface layer turbulence above a grass surface. Water Resour Res 34:1265–1274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Katul GG, Konings AG, Porporato A (2011) Mean velocity profile in a sheared and thermally stratified atmospheric boundary layer. Phys Rev Lett 107:268502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kormann R, Meixner FX (2001) An analytical footprint model for non-neutral stratification. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 99:207–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Li D, Bou-Zeid E (2011) Coherent structures and the dissimilarity of turbulent transport of momentum and scalars in the unstable atmospheric surface layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 140:243–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lothon M, Lohou F, Durand P, Couvreux Sr. F, Hartogensis OK, Legain D, Pardyjak E, Pino D, Reuder J, Vilà Guerau de Arellano J, Alexander D, Augustin P, Bazile E, Bezombes Y, Blay E, van de Boer A, Boichard JL, de Coster O, Cuxart J, Dabas A, Darbieu C, Deboudt K, Delbarre H, Derrien S, Faloona I, Flament P, Fourmentin M, Garai A, Gibert F, Gioli B, Graf A, Groebner J, Guichard F, Jonassen M, van de Kroonenberg A, Lenschow D, Martin S, Martinez D, Mastrorillo L, Moene A, Moulin E, Pietersen H, Piguet B, Pique E, Román-Cascón C, Said F, Sastre M, Seity Y, Steeneveld GJ, Toscano P, Traullé O, Tzanos D, Wacker S, Yagüe C (2012) The boundary layer late afternoon and sunset turbulence 2011 filed experiment. Paper no. 14B.1. 20th symposium on boundary layers and turbulence, BostonGoogle Scholar
- Oke TR (1987) Boundary layer climates. Methuen, London, 435 ppGoogle Scholar
- Paw UKT, Brunet Y, Collineau S, Shaw RH, Maitani T, Qiu J, Hipps L (1992) On coherent structures in turbulence above and within agricultural plant canopies. Agric For Meteorol 61:55–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Paw UKT, Qiu J, Su H-B, Watanabe T, Brunet Y (1995) Surface renewal analysis: a new method to obtain scalar fluxes. Agric For Meteorol 74:119–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Raupach MR, Finnigan JJ, Brunet Y (1996) Coherent eddies and turbulence in vegetation canopies: the mixing-layer analogy. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 78:351–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Renno NO, Abreu VJ, Koch J, Smith PH, Hartogensis OK, De Bruin HAR, Burose D, Delory GT, Farrell WM, Watts CJ, Garatuza J, Parker M, Carswell A (2004) MATADOR 2002: a pilot experiment on convective plumes and dust devils. J Geophys Res 109:E07001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schols JLJ (1984) The detection and measurement of turbulent structures in the atmospheric surface layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 29:39–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schols JLJ, Jansen AE, Krom JG (1985) Characteristics of turbulent structures in the unstable atmospheric surface layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 33:173–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Snyder RL, Spano D, Paw UKT (1996) Surface renewal analysis for sensible and latent heat flux density. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 77:249–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Spano D, Snyder RL, Duce P, Paw UKT (1997) Surface renewal analysis for sensible heat flux density using structure functions. Agric For Meteorol 86:259–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Spano D, Snyder RL, Duce P, Paw UKT (2000) Estimating sensible and latent heat flux densities from gravepine canopies using surface renewal. Agric For Meteorol 104:171–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sparrow EM, Husar RB, Goldstein RJ (1970) Observations and other characteristics of thermals. J Fluid Mech 41:793–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tiselj I, Bergant R, Makov B, Bajsić I, Hestroni G (2001) DNS of turbulent heat transfer in channel flow with heat conduction in the solid wall. J Heat Transf 123:849–857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Townsend AA (1959) Temperature fluctuation over a heated horizontal surface. Fluid Mech 5:209–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vogt R (2008) Visualisation of turbulent exchange using a thermal camera. Paper no. 8B.1. 18th symposium on boundary layer and turbulence, StockholmGoogle Scholar
- Wilczak JM, Businger JA (1983) Thermally indirect motions in the convective atmospheric boundary layer. J Atmos Sci 40:343–358Google Scholar
- Wilczak JM, Tillman JE (1980) The three-dimensional structure of convection in the atmospheric surface layer. J Atmos Sci 37:2424–2443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wilczak JM, Oncley SP, Stage SA (2001) Sonic anemometer tilt correction algorithms. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 99:127–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wyngaard JC, Cote OR, Izumi Y (1971) Local free convection, similarity and the budgets of shear stress and heat flux. J Atmos Sci 28:1171–1182CrossRefGoogle Scholar