Articles | Volume 23, issue 7
14 Oct 2005
 | 14 Oct 2005

Turbulence parameter estimations from high-resolution balloon temperature measurements of the MUTSI-2000 campaign

N. M. Gavrilov, H. Luce, M. Crochet, F. Dalaudier, and S. Fukao

Abstract. Turbulence parameters in the tropo-stratosphere are analyzed using high-resolution balloon temperature measurements collected during the MUTSI (MU radar, Temperature sheets and Interferometry) campaign which took place near the Middle and Upper atmosphere (MU) radar (Japan, 35° N, 136° E) in May 2000. Vertical profiles of the specific dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy, ε, and turbulent diffusivity, K, are estimated from the Thorpe lengthscale, LT. The last is obtained by using two methods. The first one consists of measuring directly LT by reordering the potential temperature profiles. The second method is based on estimates of the temperature structure constant, CT2. A relationship between LT and CT2 can be found by assuming either adiabatic vertical displacements or a model based on turbulent energy balance consideration. Analysis shows that the adiabatic assumption gives indirect estimates of LT more consistent with direct measurements. We also found that vertical profiles of analyzed turbulence characteristics show substantial intermittency, leading to substantial scatter of the local, median and average values. General trends correspond to a decrease in ε and K from the boundary layer up to altitudes 20–25 km. Layers of increased turbulence are systematically observed in the tropo-stratosphere, which may be produced by instabilities of temperature and wind profiles. These maxima may substantially increase local values of turbulence diffusivity.

Keywords. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (Turbulence)