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Atmosphere 2018, 9(3), 102; doi:10.3390/atmos9030102

Exchange Processes in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Over Mountainous Terrain

1
Department of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-TRO), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
3
Grup de Meteorologia, Departament de Física, Universitat de les Illes Balears, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
4
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
5
Department of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
6
Department of Geophysics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
7
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montréal, QC H3A 0B9, Canada
8
Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, 60438 Frankfurt, Germany
9
Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, 38123 Trento, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes over Complex Terrain)
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Abstract

The exchange of heat, momentum, and mass in the atmosphere over mountainous terrain is controlled by synoptic-scale dynamics, thermally driven mesoscale circulations, and turbulence. This article reviews the key challenges relevant to the understanding of exchange processes in the mountain boundary layer and outlines possible research priorities for the future. The review describes the limitations of the experimental study of turbulent exchange over complex terrain, the impact of slope and valley breezes on the structure of the convective boundary layer, and the role of intermittent mixing and wave–turbulence interaction in the stable boundary layer. The interplay between exchange processes at different spatial scales is discussed in depth, emphasizing the role of elevated and ground-based stable layers in controlling multi-scale interactions in the atmosphere over and near mountains. Implications of the current understanding of exchange processes over mountains towards the improvement of numerical weather prediction and climate models are discussed, considering in particular the representation of surface boundary conditions, the parameterization of sub-grid-scale exchange, and the development of stochastic perturbation schemes. View Full-Text
Keywords: mountain meteorology; valley winds; slope winds; mixing height; high-resolution atmospheric modelling; parameterization; multiscale interactions mountain meteorology; valley winds; slope winds; mixing height; high-resolution atmospheric modelling; parameterization; multiscale interactions
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Serafin, S.; Adler, B.; Cuxart, J.; De Wekker, S.F.J.; Gohm, A.; Grisogono, B.; Kalthoff, N.; Kirshbaum, D.J.; Rotach, M.W.; Schmidli, J.; Stiperski, I.; Večenaj, Ž.; Zardi, D. Exchange Processes in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Over Mountainous Terrain. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 102.

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