Articles | Volume 17, issue 4
30 Apr 1999
30 Apr 1999

Two-dimensional simulations of katabatic layers observed during the GIMEX experiment

A. Elkhalfi

Abstract. The hydrostatic model SALSA is used to simulate a particular event observed during the Greenland Ice Margin EXperiment "GIMEX" (on July 12th, 1991). The time evolution of the large-scale flow was incorporated in the model through time dependent boundary conditions which were updated using the closest upwind sounding. A turbulent scheme for the stable boundary layer and an appropriate parametrization of the surface fluxes implemented in the same model, are used for this study. The simulation results are discussed and compared to the available observations. The computed turbulent fluxes are correctly estimated. The model predicts a mixing zone of about 1500 m high which is in good agreement with tundra site observations. Over the ice cap, the katabatic layer is correctly simulated by the model. Its height of 80-300 m is well estimated. The comparison between the simulation and observations taken at ice cap sites is reasonably valid. The ablation computed along the ice cap corresponds well to the values reconstructed of observations at sites 4 and 9. Finally, a sensibility study to a specified westward geostrophic wind (2 ms-1) shows that the consideration of this latter improves the simulated tundra wind evolution.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (mesoscale meteorology; polar meteorology; turbulance)