Characteristics of decaying convective boundary layers revealed by Large-Eddy simulations

Seung Bu Park, Jong Jin Baik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The decay of the Convective Boundary Layer (CBL) is studied using large-eddy simulations of free and advective CBLs, in which surface heat supply is suddenly cut off. After the cutoff, coherent convective circulations last about one convective time scale and then fade away. In the mixed layer, the decay time scale increases with height, indicating that nonlocal eddies decay slower than near-surface local eddies. The slower decay of turbulence in the middle of CBL than near-surface turbulence is reconfirmed from the analysis of pattern correlations of perturbations of vertical velocity. Perturbations of potential temperature and scalar concentration decay faster and slower than vertical velocity perturbations, respectively. A downward propagation of negative heat flux and its oscillation are found and a quadrant analysis reveals that warmer air sinking events are responsible for the downward propagation. The fourth quadrant events seem to be induced by demixing of air parcels, entrained from above the CBL. The advective CBL simulation with geostrophic wind illustrates that near-surface eddies are mechanically generated and they decelerate flow from the bottom up in the CBL/residual layer. The two-dimensional spectra show the heightand scale-dependent characteristics of decaying convective turbulence again in the free and advective boundary layer simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number434
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Convective boundary layer
  • Convective time scale
  • Decay
  • Demixing
  • Large-Eddy simulation
  • Pattern correlation
  • Planetary boundary layer
  • Quadrant analysis
  • Residual layer


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