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Analysis of flow in complex terrain using multi-Doppler lidar retrievals
  • Published Date:
    2020
  • Source:
    Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 1357–1371, 2020.
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Analysis of flow in complex terrain using multi-Doppler lidar retrievals
Details:
  • Description:
    Strategically placed Doppler lidars (DLs) offer insights into flow processes that are not observable with meteorological towers. For this study we use intersecting range height indicator (RHI) scans of scanning DLs to create four virtual towers. The measurements were performed during the Perdigão experiment, which set out to study atmospheric flows in complex terrain and to collect a high-quality dataset for the validation of meso- and microscale models. Here we focus on a period of 6 weeks from 1 May 2017 through 15 June 2017. During this Intensive Observation Period (IOP) data of six intersecting RHI scans are used to calculate wind speeds at four virtual towers located along the valley at Perdigão with a temporal resolution of 15 min. While meteorological towers were only up to 100 m tall, the virtual towers cover heights from 50 to 600 m above the valley floor. Thus, they give additional insights into the complex interactions between the flow inside the valley and higher up across the ridges. Along with the wind speed and direction, uncertainties of the virtual-tower retrieval were analyzed. A case study of a nighttime stable boundary layer flow with wave features in the valley is presented to illustrate the usefulness of the virtual towers in analyzing the spatially complex flow over the ridges during the Perdigão campaign. This study shows that, despite having uncoordinated scans, the retrieved virtual towers add value in observing flow in and above the valley. Additionally, the results show the virtual towers can more accurately capture the flow in areas where the assumptions for more traditional DL scan strategies break down.
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