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An Integrated TKE-Based Eddy Diffusivity/Mass Flux Boundary Layer Closure for the Dry Convective Boundary Layer

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  • 1 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
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Abstract

This study presents a new approach to the eddy diffusivity/mass flux (EDMF) framework for the modeling of convective boundary layers. At the root of EDMF lies a decomposition of turbulent transport mechanisms into strong ascending updrafts and smaller-scale turbulent motions. The turbulent fluxes can be therefore described using two conventional approaches: mass flux (MF) for the organized thermals and eddy diffusivity (ED) for the remaining turbulent field. Since the intensities of both MF and ED transports depend on the kinetic energy of the turbulent motions, it seems reasonable to formulate an EDMF framework based on turbulent kinetic energy (TKE). Such an approach allows for more physical and less arbitrary formulations of parameters in the model. In this study the EDMF–TKE coupling is achieved through the use of (i) a new parameterization for the lateral entrainment coefficient ε and (ii) the MF contribution to the buoyancy source of TKE. Some other important features of the EDMF parameterization presented here include a revised mixing length formulation and Monin–Obukhov stability scaling for the surface layer. The scheme is implemented in a one-dimensional (1D) model. Several cases of dry convective boundary layers (CBL) with different surface sensible heat fluxes in the free-convection limit are investigated. Results are compared to large-eddy simulation (LES). Good agreement between LES and the 1D model is achieved with respect to mean profiles, boundary layer evolution, and updraft characteristics. Some disagreements between the models are found to most likely relate to deficiencies in the TKE simulation in the 1D model. Comparison with other previously established ε parameterizations shows that the new TKE-based formulation leads to equally accurate, and in many respects better, simulation of the CBL. The encouraging results obtained with the proposed EDMF framework indicate that full integration of EDMF with higher-order closures is possible and can further improve boundary layer simulations.

Corresponding author address: Marcin L. Witek, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109. E-mail: marcin.l.witek@jpl.nasa.gov

Abstract

This study presents a new approach to the eddy diffusivity/mass flux (EDMF) framework for the modeling of convective boundary layers. At the root of EDMF lies a decomposition of turbulent transport mechanisms into strong ascending updrafts and smaller-scale turbulent motions. The turbulent fluxes can be therefore described using two conventional approaches: mass flux (MF) for the organized thermals and eddy diffusivity (ED) for the remaining turbulent field. Since the intensities of both MF and ED transports depend on the kinetic energy of the turbulent motions, it seems reasonable to formulate an EDMF framework based on turbulent kinetic energy (TKE). Such an approach allows for more physical and less arbitrary formulations of parameters in the model. In this study the EDMF–TKE coupling is achieved through the use of (i) a new parameterization for the lateral entrainment coefficient ε and (ii) the MF contribution to the buoyancy source of TKE. Some other important features of the EDMF parameterization presented here include a revised mixing length formulation and Monin–Obukhov stability scaling for the surface layer. The scheme is implemented in a one-dimensional (1D) model. Several cases of dry convective boundary layers (CBL) with different surface sensible heat fluxes in the free-convection limit are investigated. Results are compared to large-eddy simulation (LES). Good agreement between LES and the 1D model is achieved with respect to mean profiles, boundary layer evolution, and updraft characteristics. Some disagreements between the models are found to most likely relate to deficiencies in the TKE simulation in the 1D model. Comparison with other previously established ε parameterizations shows that the new TKE-based formulation leads to equally accurate, and in many respects better, simulation of the CBL. The encouraging results obtained with the proposed EDMF framework indicate that full integration of EDMF with higher-order closures is possible and can further improve boundary layer simulations.

Corresponding author address: Marcin L. Witek, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109. E-mail: marcin.l.witek@jpl.nasa.gov
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