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By SHARAD PACHPUTE PI: Prof. PMV Subbarao Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Delhi

Task 3: Atmospheric boundary layer and orographic drag

Requirements: One student & one Post Doc Investigators PMV Subbarao, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering (Lead): Shantanu Roy, Dept. of Chemical Engineering G Jayaraman, Centre for Atmospheric Sciences OP Sharma, Centre for Atmospheric Sciences Subodh Kumar, Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering

Task elements (i)Formulation of the ABL equations with suitable closure assumptions and discrete analogues

Timeline 0 18 months

(ii) Gravity wave drag, boundary layer height, fluxes etc.

18 24 months 24 30 months

(iii) Code description

1. What is ABL 2. Structure of ABL 3. Velocity Profile within ABL 4. Boundary Layer Depth 5. Similarity Theory : Flow equations for Velocity, Turbulence 6. CFD Modeling of ABL- Modification of turbulence model applied to ABL 7. Case Study 8. Cloud Topped ABL: Types of cloud, Modeling and types of cloud BL 9. Rainfall Boundary Layer 10. References : PhD thesis, Books and Journals, Research papers and list of

1.What is the atmospheric boundary Layer (ABL/PBL) ?

Stull (1988) The part of the atmosphere that is directly influenced by the presence of the earth s surface, and responds to surface forcing with a timescale of about an hour or less . Kaimal and Finnigan (1994) lowest 1-2 km of the atmosphere, the region most directly influenced by the exchange of momentum, heat, and water vapor at the earth s surface. Giiorgiio Crastto (2007) The Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) is the turbulent atmospheric layer adjacent to the Earth s surface that directly feels the effect of the diurnal cycle at the surface. ABL is layer which is directly influenced by surface friction or the layer in which eddy viscosity plays important role.

Day time ABL :  Sun heats the surface and turbulence is dominantly driven by buoyancy  Large convective eddies provide vigorous mixing over, typically 1-2 Km depth  Convective mixed boundary layer Night time ABL:  Thinning at night due to radiative surface cooling  Buoyancy suppresses the turbulence intensity (sink)  Forced convection is source of turbulence  Shallower BL, 100-200m in deep Stable Boundary Layer (SBL)  Stably stratified ABL  It prevails at night time as well as daytime in winter in mid latitudes as well as in polar regions

2.Atmospheric Boundary Layer Structure

Fig.2 Structure of ABL

Noon Diurnal BL

Sunset Nocturnal BL (SBL)


Noon Diurnal BL

Daytime: convective mixed layer + clouds (sometimes) Nocturnal : stable boundary layer + residual layer
PhD Thesis: Investigation of stable and unstable boundary layer phenomena using observations and a numerical weather prediction (2009 )

2.1 The Mixed Boundary Layer (Day time BL)

 Characterized more by buoyant instability, i.e. free convection than by forced convection (wind shear)  Diurnal variations in meteorological variables smaller than in surface layer.  Ekman turning can be significant

Convection and Advection

Convection - the circulatory motion that occurs in a fluid at a non-uniform temperature owing to the variation of its density and the action of gravity, usually referring to vertical motions.
Hot cells are transported within cooler surroundings

Advection horizontal transport in the atmosphere, including heat and mass!

1/4/2012 Lecture 01 - Introduction 8

Free Convection
Rising or sinking air caused by density differences Buoyant stability (s)

T2  T1 sw z 2  z1
Stable if S>0 Unstable if S<0


Free + Forced Convection


Lecture 01 - Introduction


Organized Convection


Lecture 01 - Introduction


2.4 Neutral ABL

 By definition , neutral ABL is characterized by a constant with height potential temperature , and zero turbulent heat flux  The neutral ABL is often referred as Ekman Layer  Ekman (1905) simplified the atmospheric motion for this case, governed by a balance of the Coriolis forces ,pressure gradient, and friction forces.  Turbulence is governed by wind shear.  Few simulation of neutral ABL is carried by Mason and Thompson(1987)

Velocity profile within neutral ABL

2.5 Stable boundary Layer (SBL) and their basic interaction

Fig.3 Fig Stable boundary Layer (SBL) and their basic interaction

Stable boundary Layer (SBL) and their basic interaction

Turbulence  ABL is the turbulent flow  Turbulence is mainly created by mean wind shear and stratification During day time, solar insolation heat the surface and creates thermal instability In night, SBL turbulence is suppressed by the stable stratification The turbulence is destroyed by buoyancy effects and viscous dissipation Long wave radiative transfer  Amount of radiation absorbed /emitted by an air layer depends on emissivity of the air layer and its temperature and composition H2O,CO2 Effect of radiative flux in SBL, Large temperature gradient at surface and less in atmosphere Temperature gradients is governed by divergence of turbulent flux and divergence of net long wave radiative flux (Rodgers,1967,Anfossi et al 1976) Soil and vegetation  ABL is governed by radiative heating /cooling from soil during day /night times Soil heat flux depends on thermal properties : conductivity, density, moisture content. These properties varies with space and time. But for atmospheric model the soil is assumed to be homogeneous.

Low level jet  Above the SBL there is Wind speed profile such that wind speeds larger than the geotropic wind speed in free atmosphere above the ABL During daytime, the wind flow is determined by the pressure gradient force, the Coriolias force and friction that is generated by the ABL turbulence.  During sunset, the turbulence drag suddenly decreases and equilibrium is disturbed, as result, the air accelerate in response to the lack of friction in the ABL This creates low level jet, acts as secondary (beyond production of near surface wind shear) source of turbulence in the SBL. Gravity Waves It is created by sudden surface roughness changes, convection and undulating topography.

Fog/Moist processes Radiation fog starts from certain layer Moisture /humidity

3. Velocity Profile within ABL

Parts of ABL based on frictional loss, Bluestein (1992)

Ekman layer or Friction layer or Transition layer

Zh or Zi

Surface layer ZS Canopy layer or Roughness layer Ground Z0

Laminar sub layer/Roughness Layer The layer near ground up to the height of the roughness length Z0,. This layer has traditionally been referred to as a laminar sublayer or roughness layer . Actually, in this layer molecular viscosity hardly plays a role and turbulent fluxes still occur, except very close to ground where the motion is primarily laminar. Within this layer, up to height Z0, turbulence is intermittent or not fully developed, therefore Z 0, can be interpreted as the eddy size at the surface. The surface layer (SL) From Z 0 to Z S , where Z S, varies from about 10 m to 200 m. In this layer, the fluxes of momentum, heat and moisture are assumed to be independent of height and the Coriolis effects is generally negligible. The transition (or Ekman) layer (TL) from Z S to Zi , where zi varies from about 100 m to 2 km.  In special situations, such as during thunderstorms, the boundary layer can extend into the stratosphere.

4. Boundary Layer Depth

4.1 Effect of terrain irregularities on Velocity Profile
 The roughness of terrain influences the depth of the ABL  The rougher the terrain and the higher the ABL, also the height of roughness length is also more.

4.2 Boundary Layer Depth: Effect of highs and lows Pressure

Near a region of high pressure:
Over both land and oceans, the boundary layer tends to be shallower near the center of high pressure regions. This is due to the associated subsidence and divergence. Boundary layer depth increases on the periphery of the high where the subsidence is weaker. The rising motion associated with the low transports boundary layer air up into the free troposphere. Hence, it is often difficult to find the top of the boundary layer in this region. Cloud base is often used at the top of the boundary layer.

Near a region of low pressure:

4.3 ABL over land: Comparison between day and night

Temperature, velocity and heat flux profiles Strongly stable lapse rate Nearly adiabatic Superadiabatic

Kaimal and Finnigan


Weakly stable lapse rate Nearly adiabatic Strongly stable lapse rate Subtle difference between convective mixed layer and residual layer: Turbulence is more vigorous in the former

Fig.4 The depth of ABL

It provides a way to organize and group the variables of interest in dimensionless groups in ABL  Monin-Obukhov and Stull (1988) theory or surface-layer similarity theory is given here valid for surface layer

 Vertical profiles of Velocity :  A similarity study can be carried out to describe vertical profiles of turbulence statistics
in the ABL  At fully developed conditions (horizontal homogeneity), the mean horizontal velocity is commonly described by a log profile in neutral conditions  A neutral condition stands when thermal effects are negligible (3) Where, Z=vertical Height Z0= roughness height U= free velocity u = friction velocity K = 0.4,von Karman constant

As per theoretical considerations (Tennekes,1982) lead to assume the boundary layer to have depth proportional to u /f u = friction velocity f = Coriolis parameter=2 sin , = hearths rotational speed = Latitude  The ABL height, in the case of neutral stratification ,can be expressed by equation (2) (1)

(2) C=0.25 ,yields boundary layer heights close to observed daytime heights

 If Coriolis , friction and pressure gradients are responsible for the wind flow in the outer layer and free atmosphere, in the surface the Coriolis force looses its significance while roughness of the ground becomes a more significant parameter, acting both the velocity profile and the angle of incidence of wind at the ground level and the isobars

 Classification of terrain by their roughness length - European Wind Atlas (1989)

 The first derivatives of the mean horizontal velocity is referred as the wind shear, which can be combined with ,z and u build a dimensionless group m

 Vertical profiles of second moments of velocities (Reynolds stresses) (Stull,1988)  The turbulent momentum flux for neutral boundary layer can be considered decreasing linearly with the heights z.

Turbulent Kinetic energy(TKE) which is normalized for vertical profiles ,is given (Grant,1986) =TKE

Turbulence Energy Spectrum

Large Scale Large scale flow Flow Diurnal Fluctuations Diurnal Fluctuations Small Scale Turbulence Small scale turbulence

from (Stull, 1988)

1/4/2012 Lecture 01 - Introduction 29

Scales of Atmospheric Motion and Micrometeorology


Oke (1987)

Lecture 01 - Introduction


6. CFD Modeling of the ABL

6.1 The Navier-Strokes Equations

6.2 Turbulence Modeling  RANS based turbulence model are classified by the number of additional differential equations needed to close the original set of PDE some of turbulence model used to close the RANS are

Modification in Turbulence Model Applied to ABL

Model k- standard and RNG

In the additional transport equations two production terms do appear i.e. Gb ,Gk respectively the generation of TKE due to velocity gradients and buoyancies  YM takes into accounts compressibity effects while the source term labeled with S  For neutral ABL the generation due to buoyancies is negligible, as well as compressibility effects effects and therefore the two transport equations for K and can be simplified:



two-equation k turbulence models for neutral conditions in atmospheric boundary layer (Nikola Mirkov, 2008)

In case of neutral ABL the values of constants proposed, Crasto et al. (2004) and Mandas et al. (2004), in order to produce a proper level of turbulence in proximity of the ground.

 The RNG modification of K- model

Default value of FLUENT FVM solver

7.Case Study of ABL by CFD : CFD Modeling of hill station by Giorgio,2007

1. 2D and 3D simulation of hill considering Neutral Boundary Layer 2. FLUENT was used for Numerical simulation 3. Comparison of Turbulence Model for profiles of velocity, wall shear stress ,eddy viscosity and TK ,and validation with results of literature 4. Simulations 2D and 3D by DES/LES over flat Terrain (for smooth and rough terrain) 5. Comparison of DES and LES 6. Numerical simulation by new LES-UDF implementation in FLUENT for SGS eddy viscosity

Computational Domain:3km x 6kmx1km

Numerical Modeling of Neutral and Stably Stratified Flow and Dispersion In Complex Terrain- David D. Apsley, B. A.
A three-dimensional finite-volume computer code (SWIFT) developed to predict ABL flow and dispersion over complex terrain  A "limited-length-scale" k- model developed for ABL applications. The model successfully reproduces the Leipzig wind-speed profile and data from stable boundary-layer measurements at Cardington  A code was validated by comparing the results of numerical simulation with measured results  computational domain for hill: -200m<x-x, <2000m, -900m<v-vS<900m, O<z<300m  The code SWIFT is a three-dimensional, finite volume, incompressible flow solver



Classifications of clouds

Modeling of Boundary Layer

How to characterize link between cloud & boundary layer variability?
Complex system (non-linear interactions) Going beyond simple sensitivity experiments

Numerical modeling / ensemble simulations

 Large-Eddy-Simulation (LES) model is widely used many researcher for different cloud BL  Single-column model (SCM) w/ WRF parameterizations Surface-atmosphere interactions Boundary layer turbulence Radiative transfer turbulence


surface-atmosphere interactions

GEWEX Cloud System Study(GCSS ) Boundary Layer Cloud Working Group (BLCWG),UK Objectives of the Working Group The GCSS (GEWEX Cloud System Study) Boundary Layer Cloud Working Group aims to improve physical parameterizations of clouds and cloud related processes, and their interactions.  They conduct careful inter comparisons between observational or laboratory case studies, 3D large-eddy-simulation models, single-column-model (SCM) versions of climate and numerical weather prediction (NWP) models of cloud-topped boundary layers.  Most of the leading groups modeling boundary layer clouds have participated in their annual workshops, held every 12-18 months.  Large eddy simulation is used for modeling of cloud topped mixed layer or convective mixed boundary layer.

large eddy simulation of convective boundary layer

Cloud Topped ABL

 Cloudiness Cloud ABL includes stratus, stratocumulus, and shallow cumulus, By definition their lifting condensation level is below the top of the mixed layer.

1. Stratiform-Clouds Topped ABL

Stratified clouds

2.Cumulus Topped ABL

 It is controlled by various processes, subsidence, latent heat, radiative cooling, temperature advection, and surface warming Fig. cumulus cloud

Structure of the Trade-Cumulus Layer (RICO)

3. Typical Mean Structure of the Stratocumulus-Topped Boundary Layer

 Nocturnal Non-Precipitating Stratocumulus-Topped Boundary Layer (PhD Thesis,2008)  Stratocumulus are low-level clouds with a generally stratiform appearance and underlying cellular structure. They develop at the top of thermodynamically distinct maritime atmospheric boundary layers.  Such boundary layers form in conditions where the overlying free troposphere is much warmer than the underlying cold ocean Most of the conceptual and theoretical descriptions of the STBL involve a well mixed, radiatively driven and non-precipitating STBL, as depicted in a cartoon in Fig. 1.  Drizzle is commonly observed in the stratocumulus-topped boundary layers

Mean stratocumulus structure

9.Rain fall Boundary Layer

Precipitation Processes during rainfall  Most tropical precipitation falls as rain as expected since most of the surface and lower troposphere are above freezing. A typical raindrop has a radius of about 1 mm while typical cloud droplet radii are 10s of m.37 How do cloud droplets become raindrops?  Cloud droplets do not grow large enough by condensation because the rate of growth of increase in droplet radius slows with time37 (Fig.9)  Warm cloud droplets grow and form precipitation by the collision-coalescence process38 (Fig.10 ).  Large droplets settle through small droplets and grow as small droplets collide and adhere to them. Fig.9

Fig.10 Animation of collision-coalescence in warm clouds.

Fig. (a) Saturation vapor pressure over water and ice as a function of temperature. (b) Conceptual model of precipitation in a cumulonimbus illustrating the BergeronFindiesen process in the mixed phase region and collision-coalescence in the warmcloud region.

Seasonal Precipitation in the Indian subcontinent

Rain fall- Aerosol particles effects

Defining Water Vapor Content

Vapor pressure: The partial pressure of air that is exerted by water vapor (hPa or mb) Specific humidity: Mass of water vapor divided by the mass of air (g kg-1) Mixing ratio: Mass of water vapor divided by the mass of dry air (g kg-1) Dew point temperature: The temperature to which air must be cooled (at constant pressure and vapor content) for saturation to occur. The frost point temperature is similar except for saturation relative to ice (C/F/K) Relative humidity (RH): Ratio of specific humidity to saturation specific humidity. The amount of water vapor compared with the amount required for saturation (at a particular temperature and pressure). Saturation or equilibrium: Condition of the atmosphere when the evaporation rate is equal to the condensation rate. When air is saturated, the amount of water vapor is the maximum that can exist at a particular temperature and pressure. For more information on moisture parameters see the COMET Skew-T Mastery module at

PhD Thesis
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Giorgio Crasto, Numerical simulation of atmospheric boundary layer (2007) Mengsteab H Weldegaber , Investigation of stable and unstable boundary layer phenomena using observations and a numerical weather prediction model . ( 2009) David D. Apsley, B. A., Numerical Modelling of Neutral and Stably Stratified Flow and Dispersion In Complex Terrain,1995 Andreas Bechmann, Large Eddy Simulation of Atmospheric flow over complex Terrain (2006)Denmark Verica Savic-Jovcic, On the meso-scale structure and dynamics of precipitating stratocumulus (2008) Los Angeles, California

1. 2. 3. 4. G.J. Steeneveld, Understanding and Prediction of Stable Atmospheric Boundary Layers over Land, (2007) K. WENDELL HEWSON, METEOROLOGY THEORETICAL AND APPLIED (1943),Johan & Willey Publication Panofsky, H., Dutton, and J., 1984, Atmospheric Turbulence, Wiley, NewYork. Sorbjan, Z., The Large-Eddy Simulations of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer. Chapter 5B of AIR QUALITY MODELING - Theories, Methodologies, Computational Techniques, and Available Databases and Software. Vol. II Advanced Topics (2004) Dr. Arlene Laing, Dr. Jenni-Louise Evans, Introduction to Tropical Meteorology 2nd Edition A Comprehensive Online & Print Textbook Version 2.a, December 2010 ( )


1. 2. 3. American Meteorological Society(AMS) Journals online Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences


Research Papers based on Numerical Modeling of ABL

1. 2. 3. Nikola Mirkov, Turbulence Model of Atmospheric Boundary Layer in General Curvilinear Coordinate System Cedric Anlinot, k- Model for the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Under Various Thermal Stratifications, 2005 Khal,ed Ameur a, ChristianMasson a, PeterJ.Eecen b , 2D and 3D numerical simulation of the wind-rotor/nacelle interaction in an atmospheric boundary layer ,2004


Bert Blockena,Ted Stathopoulosb, Jan Carmelieta, CFD simulation of the atmospheric boundary layer:wall function problems,2007 5. BRANKO KOSOVIC AND JUDITH A. CURRY, A Large Eddy Simulation Study of a Quasi-Steady, Stably Stratified Atmospheric Boundary Layer,vol7,1998 6. Leanderson M.S.Paiva a, GustavoC.R.Bodstein b, , WallaceF.Menezes c , Numerical simulation of atmospheric boundary layer flow over isolated and vegetated hills using RAMS ,2009 7. Yan Yang a,*, Yaping Shao b , Numerical simulations of flow and pollution dispersion in urban atmospheric boundary layers ,2007 8. Yan Yang a,*, Yaping Shao b , Numerical simulations of flow and pollution dispersion in atmospheric boundary layers ,2007 9. N. Mandas, F. Cambuli, G.Castro, Numerical simulation of Atmospheric Boundary layer (ABL) over complex terrain ,2008 10. F. T. M. NIEUWSTADT, A LARGE-EDDY SIMULATION OF A LINE SOURCE IN A CONVECTIVE ATMOSPHERIC BOUNDARY LAYER--II. DYNAMICS OF A BUOYANT LINE SOURCE,1990 11. f. cctusrwxr , ADIABATIC ATMOSPHERIC BOUNDARY L.AYERS: A REVlEW AND ANALYSlS OF DATA FROM THE PERlOD 1 SW1972 ,1974 12. J.E. Wagner a, , F. Angelini b, M. Blumthaler c, M. Fitzka a, G.P. Gobbi b, R. Kift d, A. Kreuter c, H.E. Rieder e, S. Simic a, A. Webb d, P. Weihs a, Investigation of the 3-D actinic flux field in mountainous terrain ,2010

Literature on cloud/fog-ABL
1. 2. P. Kollias , Boundary Layer Cloud Climatology at the ARM TWP Nauru Site ,1975 Alan K. Betts, Land-surface, boundary layer, and cloud-field coupling over the southwestern Amazon in ERA-40 ,2005 3. Andreas Chlond, Georg Buml, Frank Mller, Frank Nober, Using Large-Eddy Simulation as a Tool to develop Cloud Parameterizations for larger-scale Models ,2005 4. S. Kumar and C. E. Brennen , NONLINEAR EFFECTS IN CAVITATION CLOUD DYNAMICS ,1980 5. A. Khain a,), M. Ovtchinnikov b, M. Pinsky a, A. Pokrovsky a, H. Krugliak , Notes on the state-of-the-art numerical modeling of cloud microphysics ,2000 6. Hans Burchard a,*, Peter D. Craig b, Johannes R. Gemmrich c, Hans van Haren d, Pierre-Philippe Mathieu e, H.E. Markus Meier f, W. Alex M. Nimmo Smith g, Hartmut Prandke h, Tom P. Rippeth i, Eric D. Skyllingstad j, William D. Smyth j, David J.S. Welsh k,1, Hemantha W. Wijesekera , Observational and numerical modeling methods for quantifying coastal ocean turbulence and mixing ,2008 7. Gunilla Svensson 1 and John H. Seinfeld , SIMULATIONS OF MARINE BOUNDARY-LAYER CLOUDS WITH A COUPLED AEROSOL-CLOUD MODEL, 1997 8. Rico Project, LES of wind ABL 9. THIERRY BERGOT,* ENRIC TERRADELLAS, JOAN CUXART,# ANTONI MIRA,# OLIVIER LIECHTI,MATHIAS MUELLER,& AND NIELS WOETMANN NIELSEN** Intercomparison of Single-Column Numerical Models for the Prediction of Radiation Fog,2005 10. I. R. VAN DER VELDE AND G. J. STEENEVELD, Modeling and Forecasting the Onset and Duration of Severe Radiation Fog under Frost Conditions ,2010

List of Presentations related to ABL

1. Atmospheric Boundary layer Angela Colbert,2008 2. Introduction to ABL - Dr. Holmes 3. Atmospheric turbulence heat fluxes and Planetary BL 4. Atmospheric Turbulence I & II lecture by Dr. J.D. Holmes 5. Modeling the Atmospheric Boundary layer 6. Observations and Models of Boundary-Layer Processes Over Complex Terrain Don Lenschow,2003 7. Interactions of the land-surface with the atmospheric boundary layer: The single column model experiments at Cabauw, Netherlands - Michael Ek 8. Stable Boundary Layers over Land - Bert Holtslag , Wageningen University, NL 9. Vertical Structure of the ABL in Trade Winds Yumin Moon, 2005 10. Boundary Layer Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosols - Annual review in Colorado university 11. Atmospheric Turbulence - Observatoire de Genve 12. CBR and Stable Atmospheric Boundary Layer - Evgeny Atlaskin RSHU 13. An Introduction to Boundary Layer Meteorology Applied 14. Importance of ABL15. Well Mixed ABL in the MM5 and WRF models- Frank P. Colby 16. An Overview of the Planetary Boundary Layer, Plume Transport, and Dispersion - PPT Presentation 17. Atmospheric Planetary Boundary Layers ABLs PBLs in stable and neural stratification: scaling, data, - PPT Presentation n_scaling_data_flash_ppt_presentation