A parameterization of wave stress in the planetary boundary layer for use in mesoscale models

Carmen J. Nappo, Hye Yeong Chun, Hyuk Je Lee

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10 Citations (Scopus)


A parameterization of gravity wave stress generated by subgrid-scale topography is described and tested in a one-dimensional version of the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) model. It is argued that in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) where wave reflections occur, the so-called WKB method for evaluating wave stress may not be applicable. Gravity waves launched by a subgrid-scale Gaussian ridge are calculated on line using a linear wave model. The total flow is constrained to be convectively stable by using a terrain-height adjustment to decrease wave amplitudes and thereby prevent wave overturning. In this method when the waves grow large enough to overturn, the wave amplitudes are decreased by decreasing the maximum height of the terrain obstacle, H. At each time step, the ARPS model flow is modified by the divergence of the wave stress. The effects of wave-stress divergence on turbulence parameterization is examined using three turbulence closure schemes, K-theory with constant eddy diffusivity, the Smagorinsky closure, and the turbulence-kinetic energy closure. Also, the effects of vertical grid spacing are tested using spacings of 10, 20, 50 and 100 m. The model is initialized with a hyperbolic-tangent wind profile and constant Brunt-Väisälä frequency. It is shown that wave-stress divergence can lead to elevated layers of turbulence and diffusion where they would not occur in the absence of the wave-stress parameterization. It is also shown that if the vertical grid spacing is too great, then the effects of wave breaking are not fully realized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2665-2675
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted under an informal agreement between the Air Resources Laboratory of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Laboratory for Atmospheric Modeling Research of Yonsei University. Hye-Yeong Chun and Hyuk-Je Lee were supported by the Korea Ministry of Science and Technology through the National Research Laboratory Program.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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