Detection and Modeling of Boundary Layer Height

Caporaso, Luca (2012) Detection and Modeling of Boundary Layer Height , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Modellistica fisica per la protezione dell'ambiente, 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4467.
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This thesis tackles the problem of the automated detection of the atmospheric boundary layer (BL) height, h, from aerosol lidar/ceilometer observations. A new method, the Bayesian Selective Method (BSM), is presented. It implements a Bayesian statistical inference procedure which combines in an statistically optimal way different sources of information. Firstly atmospheric stratification boundaries are located from discontinuities in the ceilometer back-scattered signal. The BSM then identifies the discontinuity edge that has the highest probability to effectively mark the BL height. Information from the contemporaneus physical boundary layer model simulations and a climatological dataset of BL height evolution are combined in the assimilation framework to assist this choice. The BSM algorithm has been tested for four months of continuous ceilometer measurements collected during the BASE:ALFA project and is shown to realistically diagnose the BL depth evolution in many different weather conditions. Then the BASE:ALFA dataset is used to investigate the boundary layer structure in stable conditions. Functions from the Obukhov similarity theory are used as regression curves to fit observed velocity and temperature profiles in the lower half of the stable boundary layer. Surface fluxes of heat and momentum are best-fitting parameters in this exercise and are compared with what measured by a sonic anemometer. The comparison shows remarkable discrepancies, more evident in cases for which the bulk Richardson number turns out to be quite large. This analysis supports earlier results, that surface turbulent fluxes are not the appropriate scaling parameters for profiles of mean quantities in very stable conditions. One of the practical consequences is that boundary layer height diagnostic formulations which mainly rely on surface fluxes are in disagreement to what obtained by inspecting co-located radiosounding profiles.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Caporaso, Luca
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Boundary layer height, Retrieval lidar/ceilometer signal processing, Bayesian data assimilation, Similarity theory, Stable boundary layer
Data di discussione
11 Maggio 2012

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