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  Buoyancy reversal in cloud-top mixing layers

Mellado, J., Stevens, B., Schmidt, H., & Peters, N. (2009). Buoyancy reversal in cloud-top mixing layers. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 135(641 B), 963-978. doi:10.1002/qj.417.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-F809-5 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-1370-B
Genre: Journal Article

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QJRMS_135-963.pdf (Publisher version), 381KB
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 Creators:
Mellado, JP.1, 2, Author              
Stevens, B.1, 3, Author              
Schmidt, H., Author
Peters, N., Author
Affiliations:
1The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society, ou_913550              
2Max Planck Research Group Turbulent Mixing Processes in the Earth System, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society, ou_913573              
3Director’s Research Group AES, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society, Bundesstraße 53, 20146 Hamburg, DE, ou_913570              

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Free keywords: Buoyancy reversal instability. Stratocumulus. Free convection. Free turbulent flows.
 Abstract: A theoretical and numerical small-scale study of the evaporative cooling phenomenon that might appear in the stratocumulus-topped boundary layers is presented. An ideal configuration of a cloud-top mixing layer is considered as defined by two non-turbulent horizontal layers, stably stratified and with buoyancy reversal within a certain range of mixture fractions due to the evaporative cooling. Linear stability analysis of the shear-free configuration is employed to provide a new interpretation of the buoyancy reversal parameter, namely in terms of a time-scale ratio between the stable and the unstable modes of the system. An incompressible high-order numerical algorithm to perform direct numerical simulation of the configuration is described and two-dimensional simulations of single-mode perturbations are presented. These Simulations confirm the role of the different parameters identified in the linear stability analysis and show that convoluted flow patterns can be generated by the evaporative cooling even for the low levels of buoyancy reversal found in stratocumulus clouds. They also show that there is no enhancement of turbulent entrainment of upper-layer fluid in the shear-free configuration, and turbulent mixing enhancement by the evaporative cooling is restricted to the lower layer. Copyright (C) 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [References: 39]

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2009-04
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: eDoc: 433824
DOI: 10.1002/qj.417
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Title: Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
  Alternative Title : Quart. J. RMS
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 135 (641 B) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 963 - 978 Identifier: -