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Summer atmospheric boundary layer structure in the hinterland of Taklimakan Desert, China

Abstract

Understanding the characteristics of the structure of desert atmospheric boundary layer and its land surface process is of great importance to the simulations of regional weather and climate. To investigate the atmospheric boundary layer structure and its forming mechanism of Taklimakan Desert, and to improve the accuracy and precision of regional weather and climate simulations, we carried out a GPS radiosonde observation experiment in the hinterland of Taklimakan Desert from 25 June to 3 July, 2015. Utilizing the densely observed sounding data, we analyzed the vertical structures of daytime convective boundary layer and nighttime stable boundary layer in summer over this region, and also discussed the impacts of sand-dust and precipitation events on the desert atmospheric boundary layer structure. In summer, the convective boundary layer in the hinterland of Taklimakan Desert developed profoundly and its maximum height could achieve 4,000 m; the stable boundary layer at nighttime was about 400–800-m thick and the residual mixing layer above it could achieve a thickness over 3,000 m. Sand-dust weather would damage the structures of nighttime stable boundary layer and daytime convective boundary layer, and the dust particle swarm can weak the solar radiation absorbed by the ground surface and further restrain the strong development of convective boundary layer in the daytime. Severe convective precipitation process can change the heat from the ground surface to the atmosphere in a very short time, and similarly can damage the structure of desert atmospheric boundary layer remarkably. Moreover, the height of atmospheric boundary layer was very low when raining. Our study verified the phenomenon that the atmospheric boundary layer with supernormal thickness exists over Taklimakan Desert in summer, which could provide a reference and scientific bases for the regional numerical models to better represent the desert atmospheric boundary layer structure.

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Correspondence to Minzhong Wang.

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Wang, M., Wei, W., He, Q. et al. Summer atmospheric boundary layer structure in the hinterland of Taklimakan Desert, China. J. Arid Land 8, 846–860 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-016-0054-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-016-0054-3

Keywords

  • convective boundary layer
  • effects of sand-dust and precipitation
  • GPS radiosonde observation
  • the hinterland of Taklimakan Desert