Analysis of coherent structures during the 2009 CABINEX field campaign: Implications for atmospheric chemistry

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Monday, 24 January 2011
Analysis of coherent structures during the 2009 CABINEX field campaign: Implications for atmospheric chemistry
Washington State Convention Center
Shelley Pressley, Washington State Univesity, Pullman, WA; and A. Steiner, S. H. Chung, S. L. Edburg, E. Jones, and A. Botros

Intermittent coherent structures are an important component of turbulent exchange of mass, momentum, and energy at the biosphere-atmosphere interface. Specifically, above forested canopies, coherent structures can be responsible for a large fraction of the exchange of trace gases and aerosols between the sub-canopy (ground surface), canopy and the atmosphere. This study quantifies the coherent structures and associated turbulence intensity at the canopy interface for the Community Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions Experiment (CABINEX) field campaign (July 1 – Aug 10, 2009) at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS), and determines the effect of coherent structures on canopy air-parcel residence times and importance for atmospheric chemistry. Two different methods of analysis are used to estimate the coherent exchange: 1) wavelet analysis and 2) quadrant-hole (Q-H) analysis (also referred to as conditional sampling). Wavelet analysis uses wavelet transforms to detect non-periodic signals with a variable duration. Using temperature ramp structures, the timing and magnitude of individual coherent ‘events' can be evaluated over the duration of the campaign. Conversely, the Q-H analysis detects ‘events' when |u'w' | ≥ H x (urmswrms), where H is a threshold parameter, u is the stream-wise velocity and w is the vertical velocity. Events are primarily comprised of high momentum air penetrating into the canopy (sweeps, u' > 0; w' < 0) and low momentum air escaping the canopy (ejections, u' < 0; w' > 0). Results from both techniques are compared under varying stability classes, and the number of events, total duration, and contribution to the total flux are analyzed for the full campaign. The contribution of coherent structures to the total canopy-atmosphere exchange is similar between the two methods, despite a greater number of events estimated from the Q-H analysis. These analyses improve the quantification of canopy mixing time at the UMBS site during CABINEX, and will aid in interpreting in-canopy processes including physical, chemical and photochemical transformations observed during the campaign.