Derivation of Structure Parameters of Temperature and Humidity in the Convective Boundary Layer from Large-Eddy Simulations and Implications for the Interpretation of Scintillometer Observations

B. Maronga, A.F. Moene, D. van Dinther, S. Raasch, F.C. Bosveld, B. Gioli

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We derive the turbulent structure parameters of temperature C 2 T and humidity C 2 q from high-resolution large-eddy simulations (LES) of a homogeneously-heated convective boundary layer. Boundary conditions and model forcing were derived from measurements at Cabauw in The Netherlands. Three different methods to obtain the structure-parameters from LES are investigated. The shape of the vertical structure-parameter profiles from all three methods compare well with former experimental and LES results. Depending on the method, deviations in the magnitude up to a factor of two are found and traced back to the effects of discretization and numerical dissipation of the advection scheme. Furthermore, we validate the LES data with airborne and large-aperture scintillometer (LAS) measurements at Cabauw. Virtual path measurements are used to study the variability of C 2 T in the mixed layer and surface layer and its implications for airborne and LAS measurements. A high variability of C 2 T along a given horizontal path in the LES data is associated with plumes (high values) and downdrafts (low values). The path average of C 2 T varies rapidly in time due to the limited path length. The LES results suggest that measured path averages require sufficient temporal averaging and an adequate ratio of path length to height above the ground for the LAS in order to approach the domain average of C 2 T .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • large-aperture scintillometer
  • heterogeneous land-surface
  • flevoland field experiment
  • index-structure parameter
  • refractive-index
  • optical scintillometer
  • water-vapor
  • fluxes
  • model
  • heat

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