Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract In this paper, measurements of the first 150 m of the atmospheric boundary layer obtained by a high-frequency acoustic mini-sounder are compared with measurements obtained by a full complement of instruments including sonic anemometers mounted on the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory tower. The acoustic mini-sounder, starting as low as 6 m from the ground, measures in the monostatic mode the profiles of the vertical wind speed, w, and of the temperature structure parameter, C T 2 with enhanced height resolution of the order of 1 m and time resolution of the order of 30 s. The results of the comparison show that the high-frequency mini-sounder is an effective atmospheric boundary-layer profiler that is also portable and relatively inexpensive. Measurements of the spectrum of C T 2 are presented that provide information on the local isotropy of the temperature field. Statistics of the variability of C T 2 in both stable and unstable conditions are also given. The sounder's capabilities are further demonstrated by some detailed observations of the structure and time evolution of a thermal plume root at noon and of a nocturnal, stably stratified layer in which a dynamic instability develops. The plume starts at a height of less than 5 m, possesses substantial internal structure, and includes vertical velocities in excess of 2 m s-1.
Type of Medium: