Bridging the gap between atmospheric physics and chemistry in studies of small-scale turbulence

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The current understanding of the influence of atmospheric turbulence on chemical reactions is briefly reviewed. The fundamentals of this influence and the consequences for the transport and mixing of the reactants are discussed. A classification of the turbulent reacting flows is proposed in terms of the values of dimensionless numbers. These numbers depend on the characteristic timescale of the dynamics and the chemistry. The main findings obtained by modeling studies of various atmospheric boundary layer flows and chemical mechanisms, in particular the ones done by means of the large eddy simulation technique, are summarized. Based on the conclusions of these studies, the need to carry out intensive and comprehensive atmospheric field campaigns and laboratory experiments to corroborate the numerical results is discussed. Specific open questions are posed to improve, by combining observational experiments and modeling, our knowledge of the role played by physical processes on the transformations of reactive species in the atmospheric boundary layer
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-56
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • convective boundary-layer
  • large-eddy simulation
  • surface-layer
  • chemical-reactions
  • fluxes
  • nitrogen
  • plume
  • ozone
  • deposition
  • diffusion


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