Vertical transports by plumes within the moderately convective marine atmospheric surface layer

Richard A. Mason, Hampton N. Shirer, Robert Wells, George S. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bursts in the kinematic vertical transports of heat and horizontal momentum in a moderately convective marine atmospheric surface layer are studied by applying the variable interval time averaging (VITA) detection method to principal components analysis (PCA)-decomposed datasets obtained from the Floating Instrumentation Platform (FLIP) moored vessel during the 1995 April-May Pacific Marine Boundary Layer (PMBL) experiment. For convective plumes, a well-defined dimensionless relationship is shown to exist between the vertical transports of heat and horizontal momentum; this relationship cannot be easily deduced if PCA and VITA are not both applied. PCA decomposes a dataset using correlations within that dataset instead of bandpass filtering it to retain energy in a predetermined range of scales; PCA thus respects all scales contributing to the phenomena retained in the dataset. Subsequent use of cross-spectral techniques to group the PCA-decomposed dataset into coherent structure types leads to, among other types of coherent structures, PCA-derived plumes. The VITA method is applied to a decomposed dataset in order to identify updrafts (bursts) and downdrafts (sweeps) in the time series of correlated variables by searching the signal for events that satisfy user-specified criteria. With proper use of PCA, surface-layer plumes can be reassembled in a way that yields the same transport relationships no matter which of the two different detecting variables is used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1337-1355
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume59
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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