Chemistry in a dry cloud: the effects of radiation and turbulence

J. de Vil...-Guerau, J.W.M. Cuijpers

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18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The combined effect of ultraviolet radiation and turbulent mixing on chemistry in a cloud-topped boundary layer is investigated. The authors study a flow driven by longwave radiative cooling at cloud top. They consider a chemical cycle that is composed of a first-order reaction whose photodissociation rate depends on the cloud properties and time and a second-order chemical reaction between an abundant entrained reactant and a species with an initial concentration in the boundary layer. This turbulent reacting flow is represented numerically by means of a large eddy simulation. The simulation does not take evaporative cooling and aqueous-phase chemistry into account; that is, the authors simulate a dry smoke cloud. The vertical concentration profiles of the reactants not in excess clearly show the appearance of gradients due to the chemical sources and sinks in the cloud. Moreover, the vertical-flux profiles depart from a linear profile. Fluxes that, in the absence of chemistry, are directed upward could change direction due to the different chemical reaction rate constants inside and below the cloud and because of the dominant downward motions generated by radiative cooling. The flux-budget analysis shows the relevance of the chemical term for the nonabundant species inside of the cloud. The exchange flux between the free troposphere and the boundary layer also depends on the chemical transformation above and in the cloud. An expression for the exchange velocity of reactive species is proposed in terms of an in-cloud flux, the production-depletion chemical rates, and the concentration jump at the inversion height. The calculated exchange velocity values for the smoke and the reactants differ considerably. The combined effect of ultraviolet radiation and turbulent mixing on chemistry in a cloud-topped boundary layer is investigated. The authors study a flow driven by longwave radiative cooling at cloud top. They consider a chemical cycle that is composed of a first-order reaction whose photodissociation rate depends on the cloud properties and time and a second-order chemical reaction between an abundant entrained reactant and a species with an initial concentration in the boundary layer. This turbulent reacting flow is represented numerically by means of a large eddy simulation. The simulation does not take evaporative cooling and aqueous-phase chemistry into account; that is, the authors simulate a dry smoke cloud. The vertical concentration profiles of the reactants not in excess clearly show the appearance of gradients due to the chemical sources and sinks in the cloud. Moreover, the vertical-flux profiles depart from a linear profile. Fluxes that, in the absence of chemistry, are directed upward could change direction due to the different chemical reaction rate constants inside and below the cloud and because of the dominant downward motions generated by radiative cooling. The flux-budget analysis shows the relevance of the chemical term for the nonabundant species inside of the cloud. The exchange flux between the free troposphere and the boundary layer also depends on the chemical transformation above and in the cloud. An expression for the exchange velocity of reactive species is proposed in terms of an in-cloud flux, the production-depletion chemical rates, and the concentration jump at the inversion height. The calculated exchange velocity values for the smoke and the reactants differ considerably.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1573-1584
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume57
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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