The collapse of turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer

B.J.H. Wiel, van de, A.F. Moene, H.J.J. Jonker, H.J.H. Clercx

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A well-known phenomenon in the atmospheric boundary layer is the fact that winds may become very weak in the evening after a clear sunny day. In these quiet conditions usually hardly any turbulence is present. Consequently this type of boundary layer is referred to as the quasi-laminar boundary layer. In spite of its relevance, the appearance of laminar boundary layers is poorly understood and forms a long standing problem in meteorological research. Here we investigate an analogue problem in the form of a stably stratified channel flow. The flow is studied with a simplified atmospheric model as well as with Direct Numerical Simulations. Both models show remarkably similar behaviour with respect to the mean variables such as temperature and wind speed. The similarity between both models opens new way for understanding and predicting the laminarization process. Mathematical analysis on the simplified model shows that relaminarization can be understood from the existence of a definite limit in the maximum sustainable heat flux under stably stratified conditions. This fascinating aspect will be elaborated in future work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Turbulence Conference (ETC 13), September 12-15, 2011, Warsaw, Poland
EditorsK. Bajer
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Eventconference; 13th EUROMECH European Turbulence Conference -
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …

Publication series

NameJournal of Physics: Conference Series
ISSN (Print)1742-6588


Conferenceconference; 13th EUROMECH European Turbulence Conference
Period1/01/11 → …
Other13th EUROMECH European Turbulence Conference


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