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  1. Abstract

    An “inverse‐temperature layer” (ITL) of water temperature increasing with depth is predicted based on physical principles and confirmed by in situ observations. Water temperature and other meteorological data were collected from a fixed platform in the middle of a shallow inland lake. The ITL persists year‐around with its depth on the order of one m varying diurnally and seasonally and shallower during daytimes than nighttimes. Water surface heat flux derived from the ITL temperature distribution follows the diurnal cycle of solar radiation up to 300 W m−2during daytime and down to 50 W m−2during nighttime. Solar radiation attenuation in water strongly influences the ITL dynamics and water surface heat flux. Water surface heat flux simulated by two non‐gradient models independent of temperature gradient, wind speed and surface roughness using the data of surface temperature and solar radiation is in close agreement with the ITL based estimates.

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  2. Abstract

    In this study we examined a data set of nearly two‐year collection and investigated the effects of low‐level jets (LLJ) on near‐surface turbulence, especially wind direction changes, in the nocturnal boundary layer. Typically, nocturnal boundary layer is thermally stratified and stable. When wind profiles exhibit low gradient (in the absence of LLJ), it is characterized by very weak turbulence and very large, abrupt, but intermittent wind direction changes (∆WD) in the layers near the surface. In contrast, presence of LLJs can cause dramatic changes through inducing wind velocity shears, enhancing vertical mixing, and weakening the thermal stratification underneath. Ultimately, bulk Richardson number (Rb) is reduced and weakly stable conditions prevail, leading to active turbulence, close coupling across the layers between the LLJ height and ground surface, relatively large vertical momentum and sensible heat fluxes, and suppressed ∆WD values.Rbcan be a useful parameter in assessing turbulence strength and ∆WD as well. The dependence of ∆WD onRbappears to be well defined under weakly stable conditions (0.0 < Rb ≤ 0.25) and ∆WD is generally confined to small values. However, the relationship between ΔWD andRbbreaks whenRbincreases, especiallyRb > 1.0 (very stable conditions), under which ΔWD varies across a very wide range and the potential for large ΔWD increases greatly. Our findings have provided important implications to the plume dispersion in the nocturnal boundary layers.

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  3. Abstract

    Accounting for temporal changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) effluxes from freshwaters remains a challenge for global and regional carbon budgets. Here, we synthesize 171 site-months of flux measurements of CO2based on the eddy covariance method from 13 lakes and reservoirs in the Northern Hemisphere, and quantify dynamics at multiple temporal scales. We found pronounced sub-annual variability in CO2flux at all sites. By accounting for diel variation, only 11% of site-months were net daily sinks of CO2. Annual CO2emissions had an average of 25% (range 3%–58%) interannual variation. Similar to studies on streams, nighttime emissions regularly exceeded daytime emissions. Biophysical regulations of CO2flux variability were delineated through mutual information analysis. Sample analysis of CO2fluxes indicate the importance of continuous measurements. Better characterization of short- and long-term variability is necessary to understand and improve detection of temporal changes of CO2fluxes in response to natural and anthropogenic drivers. Our results indicate that existing global lake carbon budgets relying primarily on daytime measurements yield underestimates of net emissions.

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  4. Abstract

    In very stable boundary layers (VSBL), a “cocktail” of submeso motions routinely result in elevated mean wind speed maxima above the ground, acting as a new source of turbulence generation. This new source of turbulent kinetic energy enhances turbulent mixing and causes mean wind profile distortion (WPD). As a results, this transient distortion in the wind profile adjusts the classical log‐law. Addressing how WPD‐induced turbulence regulates flow structures, turbulent fluxes, and transitions in stability regimes across layers remains a challenge. Eddy covariance data measured at four levels on a 62‐m tower are employed to address these questions. It is shown that the WPD initiates large turbulent eddies that penetrate downward, leading to enhanced vertical mixing and comparable turbulent transport efficiencies across layers. As a consequence, turbulence intensity and fluxes are increased. As the WPD is intensified, turbulent fluxes and turbulent flux transport caused by large eddies are also enhanced, leading to a transition from very stable to weakly stable regimes. Due to the influence of WPD‐induced large eddies, the large‐eddy turbulent Prandtl number does not deviate appreciably from unity and the partitioning between turbulent kinetic and potential energies is linearly related to the gradient Richardson number.

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  5. Abstract

    How large turbulent eddies influence non‐closure of the surface energy balance is an active research topic that cannot be uncovered by the mean continuity equation in isolation. It is demonstrated here that asymmetric turbulent flux transport of heat and water vapor by sweeps and ejections of large eddies under unstable atmospheric stability conditions reduce fluxes. Such asymmetry causes positive gradients in the third‐order moments in the turbulent flux budget equations, primarily attributed to substantially reduced flux contributions by sweeps and sustained large flux contributions by ejections. Small‐scale surface heterogeneity in heating generates ejecting eddies with larger air temperature variance than sweeping eddies, causing asymmetric flux transport in the atmospheric surface layer. Changes in asymmetry with increasing instability are congruent with observed increases in the surface energy balance non‐closure. To assess the contributions of asymmetric flux transport by large eddies to the non‐closure requires two eddy covariance systems on the tower to measure the gradients of the turbulent heat flux and other third‐order moments.

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  6. Abstract

    Experimental evidence shows that temperature‐humidity () similarity in the atmospheric surface layer (ASL) is reduced as Bowen ratio () increases over land. However, underlying physical mechanisms remain not well understood. With large‐eddy simulations,dissimilarity is investigated in the steady‐state, convective boundary layer (CBL) over homogeneous landscape with varying. Asincreases from 0.4 to 2.0, the entrainment ratio forslightly decreases but that forqlargely increases. As a result, local production of humidity variance is substantially enhanced in the upper CBL and transported to the lower CBL by vigorous large eddies, contributing significantly to nonlocal fraction. However, the increased temperature variance in the ASL associated with strong heat flux is larger than that transported from the upper CBL. Such asymmetry in vertical diffusion induced by varying partitioning of surface fluxes strongly regulatesdissimilarity even under perfect conditions valid for Monin‐Obukhov similarity theory.

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  7. A widely used assumption in boundary layer meteorology is the z independence of turbulent scalar fluxes Fs throughout the atmospheric surface layer, where z is the distance from the boundary. This assumption is necessary for the usage of Monin-Obukhov Similarity Theory and for the interpretation of eddy covariance measurements of Fs when using them to represent emissions or uptake from the surface. It is demonstrated here that the constant flux assumption offers intrinsic constraints on the third-order turbulent transport of Fs in the unstable atmospheric surface layer. When enforcing z independence of Fs on multilevel Fs measurements collected above different surface cover types, it is shown that increasing instability leads to a novel and universal description of (i) the imbalance between ejecting and sweeping eddy contributions to Fs and (ii) the ratio formed by a dimensionless turbulent transport of Fs and a dimensionless turbulent transport of scalar variance. When combined with structural models for the turbulent transport of Fs, these two findings offer a new perspective on “closing” triple moments beyond conventional gradient diffusion schemes. A practical outcome is a diagnostic of the constant flux assumption from single-level Fs measurements. 
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  8. Abstract

    Forest canopies play a critical role in affecting momentum and scalar transfer. Although there have been recent advances in numerical simulations of turbulent flows and scalar transfer across plant canopies and the atmosphere interface, few models have incorporated all important physical and physiological processes in subcanopy layers. Here we describe and evaluate an advanced multiple‐layer canopy module (MCANOPY), which is developed based largely on the Community Land Model version 4.5 and then coupled with the Weather Research and Forecasting model with large‐eddy simulations (WRF‐LES). The MCANOPY includes a suite of subcanopy processes, including radiation transfer, photosynthesis, canopy layer energy balance, momentum drag, and heat, water vapor, and CO2exchange between canopy layers and the canopy atmosphere. Numerical schemes for heat and water transport in soil, ground surface energy balance, and soil respiration are also included. Both the stand‐alone MCANOPY and the coupled system (the WRF‐LES‐MCANOPY) are evaluated against data measured in the Canopy Horizontal Array Turbulence Study field experiment. The MCANOPY performs reasonably well in reproducing vertical profiles of mean and turbulent flows as well as second‐order statistical quantities including heat and scalar fluxes within the canopy under unstable stability conditions. The coupled WRF‐LES‐MCANOPY captures major features of canopy edge flows under both neutral and unstable conditions. Limitations of the MCANOPY are discussed for our further work. Our results suggest that our model can be a promising modeling system for a variety of applications to study canopy flows and scalar transport (e.g., CO2).

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