Special Issue "Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Flows"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land - Atmosphere Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sukanta Basu

Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: atmospheric boundary layer processes; turbulence modeling; optical turbulence; wind power meteorology; numerical weather prediction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) spans the lowest few-hundred meters of the Earth’s atmosphere, and intensively exchanges mass (e.g., water vapor, pollutants), momentum, and heat with the underlying Earth’s surface. ABL has immense practical importance in a wide range of industrial (e.g., stack gas dispersion, wind energy generation), biological (e.g., pollen transport and deposition, migrations of birds and insects), natural (e.g., soil erosion, transport, and deposition), and meteorological (e.g., low-level jet formation) activities that take place in this turbulent layer. At the same time, owing to its high Reynolds number, ABL plays a critical role in advancing fundamental turbulence research. For decades, it has been the favorite playground of the theoretical physics community for testing a variety of universal scaling and similarity hypotheses.

At present, large-eddy simulation (LES) is the most efficient computational technique available for ABL simulations, in which the large scales of motion (on the order of a few meters and higher) are resolved explicitly, and the smaller ones (subgrid-scale or SGS) are modeled. Over the past four decades, the field of LES of ABL has evolved dramatically. LES has enabled researchers to probe various boundary layer flows by generating unprecedented high-resolution three-dimensional turbulence data. As a consequence, we have gained a better understanding of some complex ABL phenomena.

Atmosphere will publish a Special Issue on LES of ABL flows. The scope includes (but is not limited to):

  • Clear boundary layers
  • Cloudy boundary layers
  • Transitional boundary layers
  • Marine atmospheric boundary layers
  • Urban boundary layers
  • ABL flows over heterogeneous and/or complex terrain
  • LES of tornado-like vortices, downbursts, etc. 
  • Development of LES-SGS models
  • Validation of LES-SGS models
  • Gray-zone (also known as terra-incognita) modeling
  • Coupled mesoscale-LES modeling
  • LES-based parameterizations for mesoscale models
  • Applications: atmospheric optics, dispersion, evapotranspiration, wind energy, wind engineering, etc. 

We encourage submission of original research articles, as well as review manuscripts, from the ever-growing LES modeling community.

Dr. Sukanta Basu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Clouds
  • Complex terrain
  • Convection
  • Heterogeneity
  • Gray-zone
  • Similarity theory
  • Stratification
  • Subgrid-scale model
  • Transition
  • Turbulence
  • Urban
  • Validation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Local convection and turbulence in the Amazonia using Large Eddies Simulation model
Authors: Theomar Neves, Gilberto Fisch and Sigfried Raasch

Title: Application of LES for wind engineering applications
Author: G.T. Bitsuamlak

Title: A Survey of Subgrid-scale Models used in Large-Eddy Simulations of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Flows
Author: Sukanta Basu

Title: Turbulence statistics and spectra in a radiatively heated convective boundary layer: a large-eddy simulation study
Author: Cheng Liu, Jianping Huang and Evgeni Fedorovich, et al. 

Title: Turbulence structure in a nocturnal stratocumulus inversion
Author: Georgios Matheou
Abstract: Stratocumulus clouds have a signi cant e ect on the Earth's energy balance because they
strongly reflect incoming solar radiation. Climate projections are sensitive to the amount of
cloud cover, and small variations in the stratocumulus area coverage can produce energy-balance
changes comparable to those due to greenhouse gases. The complex physics occurring near the
inversion is a crucial characteristic of stratocumulus clouds. In a very shallow region, the
dynamics of a turbulent-non turbulent interface, strati cation, phase change, and radiative
cooling interact resulting in a complex multi-scale structure. The structure of turbulence near
the inversion is studied using the largest large-eddy simulation to date, which utilizes 1:25 m
resolution and 5 km horizontal extent. Statistics of the geometry of the cloud-top interface,
high-order moments and spectral characteristics are examined and linked to the underlying
physical processes.

Title: LES of the stable boundary layer
Author: Rica Enriquez and Robert Street
Abstract: The stable boundary layer [SBL] has a more delicate dynamical balance than the neutral or convective boundary layers. Thus, understanding and parameterizing its development has been much slower, and experimental and numerical studies of the SBL are challenging. The thin, cooled surface layer of the SBL is governed by the geostrophic wind and surface cooling. The turbulence is regulated by shear, dissipation, and buoyancy destruction. Two characteristics of the SBL that make numerical studies difficult are: (1) the energetic eddies in the SBL can be smaller than 1 m, so using a domain that is both large enough and resolved enough can be computationally expensive, and (2) the turbulence is anisotropic because stratification inhibits vertical motions. The second factor has led to the development of subgrid-scale [SGS] turbulence models that can provide anisotropy. In this paper, we investigate the manner in which our implicit Generalized Linear Algebraic Subgrid-Scale model (iGLASS – see Enriquez, 2013) can simulate a cooling SBL. As a prologue, we show how iGLASS behaves under different cooling fluxes and how it provides appropriate anisotropy. Then, we examine how iGLASS performs in a moderately stable case, the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment Atmospheric Boundary Layer Study [GABLS]. This case is based on Arctic observations, simulated first by Kosović and Curry (2000) and later with a variety of LES turbulence models by Beare et al. (2006).

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