Study of the Vertical Structure of the Coastal Boundary Layer Integrating Surface Measurements and Ground-Based Remote Sensing

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Nov 14;20(22):6516. doi: 10.3390/s20226516.


The understanding of the atmospheric processes in coastal areas requires the availability of quality datasets describing the vertical and horizontal spatial structure of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) on either side of the coastline. High-resolution Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models can provide this information and the main ingredients for good simulations are: an accurate description of the coastline and a correct subgrid process parametrization permitting coastline discontinuities to be caught. To provide an as comprehensive as possible dataset on Mediterranean coastal area, an intensive experimental campaign was realized at a near-shore Italian site, using optical and acoustic ground-based remote sensing and surface instruments, under different weather characteristic and stability conditions; the campaign is also fully simulated by a NWP model. Integrating information from instruments responding to different atmospheric properties allowed for an explanation of the development of various patterns in the vertical structure of the atmosphere. Wind LiDAR measurements provided information of the internal boundary layer from the value of maximum height reached by the wind profile; a height between 80 and 130 m is often detected as an interface between two different layers. The NWP model was able to simulate the vertical wind profiles and the eight of the ABL.

Keywords: ABL; IBM method; WRF model; atmospheric stability; remote sensing.