Steps, Waves and Turbulence in the Stably Stratified Planetary Boundary Layer

Chimonas, George
March 1999
Boundary-Layer Meteorology;Mar1999, Vol. 90 Issue 3, p397
Academic Journal
The stably-stratified planetary boundary layer contains small-vertical-scale, step-like structures, waves on a multitude of scales, large horizontal eddies and small-scale turbulence, all of which constantly interact with, and modify, one another. Current knowledge of how the various components act in the vicinity of the step-like structures is surveyed. It is concluded that packets of internal waves are the main conduit for interaction within and across the boundary layer, and low-intensity critical-level absorption at the fringes of their spectrum probably maintains the step-like structures. Further investigation of the processes requires intensive observations of the four-dimensional structure of the region, but such an investigation will need a new generation of high-resolution sensing systems.


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