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Title of Journal: Boundary-Layer Meteorol

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Abbravation: Boundary-Layer Meteorology

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Springer Netherlands

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Statistical Variability of Dispersion in the Convective Boundary Layer: Ensembles of Simulations and Observations

Authors: Jeffrey C. Weil, Peter P. Sullivan, Edward G. Patton, Chin-Hoh Moeng,

Publish Date: 2012/03/13
Volume: 145, Issue:1, Pages: 185-210
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A Lagrangian particle dispersion model (LPDM) driven by velocity fields from large-eddy simulations (LESs) is used to determine the mean and variability of plume dispersion in a highly convective planetary boundary layer (PBL). The total velocity of a “particle” is divided into resolved and unresolved or random (subfilter scale, SFS) velocities with the resolved component obtained from the LES and the SFS velocity from a Lagrangian stochastic model. This LPDM-LES model is used to obtain an ensemble of dispersion realizations for calculating the mean, root-mean-square (r.m.s.) deviation, and fluctuating fields of dispersion quantities. An ensemble of 30 realizations is generated for each of three source heights: surface, near-surface, and elevated. We compare the LPDM calculations with convection tank experiments and field observations to assess the realism of the results. The overall conclusion is that the LPDM-LES model produces a realistic range of dispersion realizations and statistical variability (i.e., r.m.s. deviations) that match observations in this highly convective PBL, while also matching the ensemble-mean properties. This is true for the plume height or trajectory, vertical dispersion, and the surface values of the crosswind-integrated concentration (CWIC), and their dependence on downstream distance. One exception is the crosswind dispersion for an elevated source, which is underestimated by the model. Other analyses that highlight important LPDM results include: (1) the plume meander and CWIC fluctuation intensity at the surface, (2) the applicability of a similarity theory for plume height from a surface source to only the very strong updraft plumes—not the mean height, and (3) the appropriate variation with distance of the mean surface CWIC and the lower bound of the CWIC realizations for a surface source.



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