Liqun Du

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

ReVelle, Douglas O.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Planetary boundary layer; Micrometeorology; Dynamic meteorology; Turbulent diffusion (Meteorology)


A theoretical study of the "bursting" phenomena of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) has been carried out using a modified one dimensional, "flat" terrain, PBL model. Sensitivity tests show that the "bursting" only occurs in a very narrow range of geostrophic wind (2 - 3.5 m/s). The detailed behavior is found to be very sensitive to the initial conditions. A special experiment was performed at the Environmental Research Division of Argonne National Laboratory from August to early November 1992. Vertical velocity and signal intensity data and temperature, wind speed, net radiation, and relative humidity data were obtained with a minisodar and a meteorological tower, respectively. Examples of weak, strong, and multiple bursting phenomena are presented and discussed. The modified one dimensional PBL model is utilized to compare the observational data against a theoretical prediction of the "bursting" event. From the comparison we conclude that this model has the ability to predict some aspects of the "bursting" phenomena in the stable nocturnal boundary layer. The predicted air temperature is close to the observed air temperature while the predicted wind speed magnitude is predicted relatively poorly in comparison.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [132]-138)


xii, 138 pages




Northern Illinois University

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