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Rainer V. J. Hilland, Christian Bernhofer, May Bohmann, Andreas Christen, Marwan Katurji, Gillian Maggs-Kölling, Matthias Krauß, Jarl A. Larsen, Eugene Marais, Andrea Pitacco, Benjamin Schumacher, Robert Spirig, Nadia Vendrame, and Roland Vogt

Abstract

The Namib Turbulence Experiment (NamTEX) was a multinational micrometeorological campaign conducted in the central Namib Desert to investigate three-dimensional surface layer turbulence and the spatiotemporal patterns of heat transfer between the subsurface, surface, and atmosphere. The Namib provides an ideal location for fundamental research that revisits some key assumptions in micrometeorology that are implicitly included in the parameterizations describing energy exchange in weather forecasting and climate models: homogenous flat surfaces, no vegetation, little moisture, and cloud-free skies create a strong and consistent diurnal forcing, resulting in a wide range of atmospheric stabilities. A novel combination of instruments was used to simultaneously measure variables and processes relevant to heat transfer: a 3-km fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (DTS) was suspended in a pseudo-three-dimensional array within a 300 m × 300 m domain to provide vertical cross sections of air temperature fluctuations. Aerial and ground-based thermal imagers recorded high-resolution surface temperature fluctuations within the domain and revealed the spatial thermal imprint of atmospheric structures responsible for heat exchange. High-resolution soil temperature and moisture profiles together with heat flux plates provided information on near-surface soil dynamics. Turbulent heat exchange was measured with a vertical array of five eddy-covariance point measurements on a 21-m mast, as well as by collocated small- and large-aperture scintillometers. This contribution first details the scientific goals and experimental setup of the NamTEX campaign. Then, using a typical day, we demonstrate (i) the coupling of surface layer, surface, and soil temperatures using high-frequency temperature measurements, (ii) differences in spatial and temporal standard deviations of the horizontal temperature field using spatially distributed measurements, and (iii) horizontal anisotropy of the turbulent temperature field.

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Mathias W. Rotach, Pierluigi Calanca, Giovanni Graziani, Joachim Gurtz, D. G. Steyn, Roland Vogt, Marco Andretta, Andreas Christen, Stanislaw Cieslik, Richard Connolly, Stephan F. J. De Wekker, Stefano Galmarini, Evgeny N. Kadygrov, Vladislav Kadygrov, Evgeny Miller, Bruno Neininger, Magdalena Rucker, Eva Van Gorsel, Heidi Weber, Alexandra Weiss, and Massimiliano Zappa

During a special observing period (SOP) of the Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP), boundary layer processes in highly complex topography were investigated in the Riviera Valley in southern Switzerland. The main focus was on the turbulence structure and turbulent exchange processes near the valley surfaces and free troposphere. Due to the anticipated spatial inhomogeneity, a number of different turbulence probes were deployed on a cross section through the valley. Together with a suite of more conventional instrumentation, to observe mean meteorological structure in the valley, this effort yielded a highly valuable dataset. The latter is presently being exploited to yield insight into the turbulence structure in very complex terrain, and its relation to flow regimes and associated mean flow characteristics. Specific questions, such as a detailed investigation of turbulent exchange processes over complex topography and the validity of surface exchange parameterizations in numerical models for such surfaces, the closure of the surface energy balance, or the definition and meaning of the “boundary layer height,” are investigated using the MAP-Riviera dataset. In the present paper, we provide details on sites and their characteristics, on measurements and observational strategies, and on efforts to guarantee comparability between different instrumentation at different sites, and we include an overview of the available instrumentation. On the basis of preliminary data and first results, the main research goals of the project are outlined.

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Janet Barlow, Martin Best, Sylvia I. Bohnenstengel, Peter Clark, Sue Grimmond, Humphrey Lean, Andreas Christen, Stefan Emeis, Martial Haeffelin, Ian N. Harman, Aude Lemonsu, Alberto Martilli, Eric Pardyjak, Mathias W Rotach, Susan Ballard, Ian Boutle, Andy Brown, Xiaoming Cai, Matteo Carpentieri, Omduth Coceal, Ben Crawford, Silvana Di Sabatino, Junxia Dou, Daniel R. Drew, John M. Edwards, Joachim Fallmann, Krzysztof Fortuniak, Jemma Gornall, Tobias Gronemeier, Christos H. Halios, Denise Hertwig, Kohin Hirano, Albert A. M. Holtslag, Zhiwen Luo, Gerald Mills, Makoto Nakayoshi, Kathy Pain, K. Heinke Schlünzen, Stefan Smith, Lionel Soulhac, Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Ting Sun, Natalie E Theeuwes, David Thomson, James A. Voogt, Helen C. Ward, Zheng-Tong Xie, and Jian Zhong
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