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Microscale and Mesoscale Structures in Convective Marine Boundary Layers

The characteristics of the transfer of heat and moisture from water surfaces to the atmosphere is important to advancing understanding of both weather and climate. <br/>This research will address the dynamic and thermodynamic properties and characteristics of convective marine boundary layers through both observational study of special field data and numerical model simulations. These cloud-topped boundary layers form in response to wintertime cold air masses that advect from continental regions out over warm ocean currents, as well as the relatively warm open waters of large inland lakes such as the Great Lakes.<br/><br/>Observational studies in this research will focus on the statistical characteristics of turbulence of the convective boundary layer and will utilize data from already completed field programs. An advanced numerical simulation model will be use to study the physical processes responsible for convective structures. The model will be validated using special volumetric LIDAR data collected during one of the field programs. New statistical methods will be developed for calculating higher-order moments (e.g., vertical velocity skewness) in two-dimensional and three-dimensional data sets from both the numerical model simulations and field observations (such as the LIDAR data scans). Determination of signals in convective cloud fields from coherent remotely sensed data streams, such as digitized satellite data, will also be pursued and compared with in situ ground truth observations. <br/><br/>Successful completion of this project will result in better understanding of the impact of the marine boundary layer on the atmosphere.

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