Atmospheric dispersion in the arctic: Winter-time boundary-layer measurements
- Author(s): Guenther, A
- Lamb, B
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1007/BF00123649
The winter-time arctic atmospheric boundary layer was investigated with micrometeorological and SF6 tracer measurements collected in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The flat, snow-covered tundra surface at this site generates a very small (0.03 cm) surface roughness. The relatively warm maritime air mass originating over the nearby, partially frozen Beaufort Sea is cooled at the tundra surface resulting in strong (4 to 30 °C · (100 m)-1) temperature inversions with light winds and a persistent weak (1 to 2 °C · (100 m)-1) surface inversion with wind speeds up to 17 m s-1. The absence of any diurnal atmospheric stability pattern during the study was due to the very limited solar insolation. Vertical profiles were measured with a multi-level mast from 1 to 17 m and with a Doppler acoustic sounder from 60 to 450 m. With high wind speeds, stable layers below 17 m and above 300 m were typically separated by a layer of neutral stability. Turbulence statistics and spectra calculated at a height of 33 m are similar to measurements reported for non-arctic, open terrain sites and indicate that the production of turbulence is primarily due to wind shear. The distribution of wind direction recorded at 1 Hz was frequently non-Gaussian for 1-hr periods but was always Gaussian for 5-min periods. We also observed non-Gaussian hourly averaged crosswind concentration profiles and assume that they can be modeled by calculating sequential short-term concentrations, using the 5-min standard deviation of horizontal wind direction fluctuations (Σθ) to estimate a horizontal dispersion coefficient (Σy), and constructing hourly concentrations by averaging the short-term results. Non-Gaussian hourly crosswind distributions are not unique to the arctic and can be observed at most field sites. A weak correlation between horizontal (Σv) and vertical (Σw) turbulence observed for both 1-hr and 5-min periods indicates that a single stability classification method is not sufficient to determine both vertical and horizontal dispersion at this site. An estimate of the vertical dispersion coefficient, Σz, could be based on ΣΦ or a stability classification parameter which includes vertical thermal and wind shear effects (e.g., Monin-Obukhov length, L). © 1989 Kluwer Academic Publishers.