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Evgeni Fedorovich, Rolf Kaiser, Matthias Rau, and Erich Plate


Experiments on simulating the atmospheric convective boundary layer (CBL), capped by a temperature inversion and affected by surface shear, were carried out in the thermally stratified wind tunnel of the Institute of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Karlsruhe. The tunnel is of the closed-circuit type, with a test section 10 m long, 1.5 m wide, and 1.5 m high. The return section of the tunnel is subdivided into 10 layers, each driven by its own fan and heating system. By this means, velocity and temperature profiles can be preshaped at the inlet of the test section, which allows for the reproduction of developed CBL over comparatively short fetches. The bottom heating is controlled to produce the constant heat flux through the floor of the test section. The flow velocity components in the tunnel are measured with a laser Doppler system; for temperature measurements, the resistance-wire technique is employed.

A quasi-stationary, horizontally evolving CBL was reproduced in the tunnel, with convective Richardson numbers RiΔT and RiN up to 10 and 20, respectively, and the shear/buoyancy dynamic ratio u */w * in the range of 0.2–0.5. Within the employed modeling approach, means and other statistics of the flow were calculated by temporal averaging. Deardorff mixed-layer scaling was used as a framework for processing and interpreting the experimental results. The comparison of the wind tunnel data with results of atmospheric, water tank, and numerical studies of the CBL shows the crucial dependence of the turbulence statistics in the upper part of the layer on the parameters of entrainment, as well as the modification of the CBL turbulence regime by the surface shear.

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