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Meteorology

Boundary Layer Meteorology

The Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) is the lowest part of the atmosphere which is continuously affected by the underlying surface and the corresponding exchange processes of energy and matter. The main focus in the field of ABL research at GFI is set to small-scale process studies on the ABL structure and turbulence.

Energy balance station of GFI deployed during the BLLAST field campaign in...
Energy balance station of GFI deployed during the BLLAST field campaign in Southern France, summer 2011.
Photo:
Joachim Reuder, GFI

Depending on the synoptic situation and the related atmospheric stability, the depth of the ABL varies between a few tenths of meters in very stable conditions, e.g. at nighttime or during polar winter, up to several kilometers in the presence of strong convection, mainly during daytime.

The main focus in the field of ABL research at GFI is set to small-scale process studies on the ABL structure and turbulence. The investigations are mainly based on experimental data sets. The institute is involved in various instrumental developments related to new measurement techniques and strategies for ABL research. The measured data are also used for the test and validation of Numerical Weather Prediction models, e.g. WRF, in particular focussing on small-scale processes in high temporal resolution.

Two main research areas on the ABL at GFI at the moment are:

  • the stable polar ABL
  • the marine ABL with respect to its importance for offshore wind energy installations
  • air-sea-ice interaction
  • the afternoon transition of the convective ABL
  • further development and application of the RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft system) SUMO
  • development of a flux measurement system on a moving buoy