Eighth Symposium on the Urban Environment


Observational and numerical study of the Great Salt Lake breeze

Erik T. Crosman, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and J. Horel

Sea and lake breezes have significant societal impacts, including modulating the formation, transport, and destruction of pollutants near metropolitan coastal areas. Utah's Great Salt Lake (GSL) is ideally suited for the investigation of these mesoscale circulations in arid environments. Ozone concentrations along Utah's Wasatch Front have exceeded the federal standard at least once during thirteen of the past sixteen summers, and further research is needed to determine the role of the GSL lake breeze in modulating these pollutant concentrations. A multifaceted observational and modeling study is underway to better understand the sensitiviy of the GSL lake breeze to variations in the atmospheric and surface state. While the body of theoretical, observational, and numerical studies related to lake and sea breeze systems and associated air quality issues is extensive, most theoretical modeling of lake and sea breezes has been two-dimensional. With the recent increase in computational power, this study will systematically revisit the impact of a number of important forcing mechanisms (for example, lake width, background wind, stability, and surface heat flux) on the lake breeze using the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model run as a fully three-dimensional large eddy simulation. An array of surface weather and air quality stations, radiosonde profiles, and high resolution surface temperature data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer will be used to initialize and validate model simulations. Initial observational and numerical results and applications to urban air quality for Salt Lake City and urban regions in general will be discussed.

Poster Session 1, Modeling and Forecasting in Urban Area—Poster Session
Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Hall 5

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