Observational Study of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer over Antarctica

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  • 1 Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775
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Abstract

During the austral summer of 1982/83, measurements of wind and temperature profiles were made through the atmospheric boundary layer in Adelie Land, East Antarctica, an area known for strong katabatic winds. It was found that a shallow but strong temperature inversion was developed at night, and destroyed during the day, resulting in the development of a well-mixed layer. Wind hodographs were quite regular and spiral-like at night, but irregular during the day. The mean wind direction was about 40° to the left, looking downslope, but more downslope at night and more cross-slope during the day.

The conclusion was derived that during the polar summer the flow over Antarctica is controlled by the gravitational factor (slope-induced baroclinicity), by the thermal stability (turbulent mixing), and also by the synoptic forcing.

Abstract

During the austral summer of 1982/83, measurements of wind and temperature profiles were made through the atmospheric boundary layer in Adelie Land, East Antarctica, an area known for strong katabatic winds. It was found that a shallow but strong temperature inversion was developed at night, and destroyed during the day, resulting in the development of a well-mixed layer. Wind hodographs were quite regular and spiral-like at night, but irregular during the day. The mean wind direction was about 40° to the left, looking downslope, but more downslope at night and more cross-slope during the day.

The conclusion was derived that during the polar summer the flow over Antarctica is controlled by the gravitational factor (slope-induced baroclinicity), by the thermal stability (turbulent mixing), and also by the synoptic forcing.

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