Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 191–211

Characterization of Coherent structures in the Atmospheric Surface Layer

  • Nisia Krusche
  • Amauri P. De Oliveira


The ramplike coherent structures, observed in the temporal series of temperature and humidity in the atmospheric surface layer, are analyzed using the intermittency function and the wavelet transforms, with Haar, D4 and Mexican Hat functions as mother wavelets, in order to find the most efficient conditional sampling technique. It was found that the intermittency function and the wavelet transform, using Mexican Hat as mother wavelet, are the only ones that sample structures that fulfill the ramplike coherent structures definition of a slow rise followed by a sudden drop in the temporal series. The conditionally averaged structures detected by both techniques were similar for temperature, humidity, and vertical velocity at heights of 3, 5, and 9.4 m. Significant discrepancies were found among the conditional averaged structures detected by both techniques for zonal and meridional components of the wind at 11.5 m. Considering both techniques, it was observed that the averagedcoherent-structure duration ranged from 23.7 ± 0.5 s to 37.8 ± 3.0 s. Furthermore, the averaged number of events per 20-minute period ranged from 20.0 ± 1.0 to 28.5 ± 1.1, and the averaged intermittency factor from 45.0 ± 0.4% to 59.1 ± 1.3%. It was also observed that the averaged duration of the ramplike coherent structures increases with height, while their intensity, number, and intermittency factor decrease. Despite the good matching obtained for temperature and humidity, the coherent-structure properties did not show the expected variation with wind speed, stability parameter, and friction velocity. The Kolmogorov–Smirnov test indicated that the intermittent function and the wavelet transform did not detect coherent structures belonging to the same population.

Atmospheric turbulence Coherent structures Conditional sampling Surface layer Intermittency Wavelet transform 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nisia Krusche
    • 1
  • Amauri P. De Oliveira
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesFederal University of Rio GrandeRio Grande, RSBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of São PauloSão Paulo, SPBrazil

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