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Similarity of Scalar Fields in the Convective Boundary Layer

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  • 1 Department of Physics, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Abstract

The paper investigates similarity of scalar fields in a horizontally homogeneous, cloud-free, shearless, convective mixed layer. The concept of the “bottom-up” and “top-down” decomposition is verified for both passive and active scalars, based on a number of large eddy simulations. The bottom-up diffusion is not confirmed to be countergradient. The top-down scaling, based on the values of entrainment fluxes, is found to be inefficient. Alternative sets of scales are proposed and validated for mean values of scalars. For the bottom-up process, the“free-convective” scaling is applied. For the top-down processes, new scales are based on the maximum values of scalar gradients in the interfacial layer. The bottom-up and top-down similarity functions for passive and active scalars are found equal.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Zbigniew Sorbjan, Department of Physics, Marquette University, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881.

Email: sorbjanz@mu.edu

Abstract

The paper investigates similarity of scalar fields in a horizontally homogeneous, cloud-free, shearless, convective mixed layer. The concept of the “bottom-up” and “top-down” decomposition is verified for both passive and active scalars, based on a number of large eddy simulations. The bottom-up diffusion is not confirmed to be countergradient. The top-down scaling, based on the values of entrainment fluxes, is found to be inefficient. Alternative sets of scales are proposed and validated for mean values of scalars. For the bottom-up process, the“free-convective” scaling is applied. For the top-down processes, new scales are based on the maximum values of scalar gradients in the interfacial layer. The bottom-up and top-down similarity functions for passive and active scalars are found equal.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Zbigniew Sorbjan, Department of Physics, Marquette University, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881.

Email: sorbjanz@mu.edu

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