Large-eddy Simulations of the Convective and Evening Transition Planetary Boundary Layers

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Title: Large-eddy Simulations of the Convective and Evening Transition Planetary Boundary Layers
Author: DeCroix, David Scot
Advisors: Yuh-Lang Lin, Co-Chair
S. Pal Arya, Co-Chair
Michael L. Kaplan, Member
Sethu Raman, Member
Gerald S. Janowitz, Member
Abstract: Large-eddy simulation (LES) is a very useful tool in computationalfluid dynamics. The LES model allows one to solve a filtered set of theNavier-Stokes equations, thereby explicitly resolving scales of motionlarger than the discretization or grid size. Those motions smaller thanthe grid size are parameterized using a so-called subgrid scale model. In this series of papers, we will use the TASS LES model, originallya cloud model, which has been modified to simulate planetary boundarylayer turbulence. We will first introduce the LES model and a newgrid-nesting method for the LES. Then we will present simulations ofthe convective planetary boundary layer, and then use the LES to studythe decay of convective planetary boundary layer turbulence to a stablystratified state. The LES model has been modified to include a grid nesting capability.Grid meshes of higher resolution may be embedded within the LES enablingone to resolve smaller scales of motion (turbulence) than would bepossible by using a single grid mesh. The grid nesting methodology isdescribed in detail in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3, the nested-grid LES will be applied to thesimulation of the convective planetary boundary layer. We will usea total of three grid meshes to increase the resolution in the surfacelayer, allowing a detailed analysis of the turbulence near the surface ofthe earth. In Chapter 4, we will focus on applying Rayleigh Benardconvection criteria, using a linearized perturbation method,to the surface layer of a CBL produced by large-eddy simulation.Similarities and differences will be discussed between the LESproduced surface layer and classical Rayleigh-Benard convection theory. In Chapter 5, using a large-eddy simulation model, we willexamine in detail the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budget during theevening transition. The simulation will be performed in order to compareto observations gathered at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport,Fort-Worth, TX. during September and October 1997. In Chapter 6 the decay of planetary boundary layerturbulence during the evening transition will be studied. In previousstudies of the decay of turbulence, the effects of mean winds and shearsdue to pressure gradient on the turbulence decay was not considered.We propose to examine the effects of increasing geostrophic wind onthe convective boundary layer and its transition or decay to a stablecondition. Finally, the overall conclusions of each chapter will be presented.
Date: 2001-03-26
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

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