Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

pblht > Planetary Boundary Layer HeightVAP Type(s) > Baseline • Evaluation

Annual summary of PBL height estimates produced by the VAP Liu-Liang method for 2004 at SGP.
Annual summary of PBL height estimates produced by the VAP Liu-Liang method for 2004 at SGP.
Quicklook plot showing all PBL height estimates produced by the PBLHT VAP for the 05:30 UTC, April 10, 2004, radiosonde at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site.
Quicklook plot showing all PBL height estimates produced by the PBLHT VAP for the 05:30 UTC, April 10, 2004, radiosonde at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site.

The structure and depth of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) is important to a wide range of atmospheric processes, including cloud formation; aerosol mixing, transport, and transformation; and chemical mixing, transport, and transformation. Radiosonde measurements are one of the most common ways for determining PBL height. This value-added product (VAP) implements three different methods for estimating PBL heights from radiosonde data. The Heffter and Liu-Liang methods involve gradients in the potential temperature profile, with the Liu-Liang method also considering the height of the low-level jet under certain meteorological conditions. The third method is based on the profile of the bulk Richardson number. Near-surface potential temperature gradients are used to classify the boundary-layer regime as either stable, convective, or neutral. Both daily and annual summary output files are produced.

The different algorithms used in this VAP can produce different estimates of the PBL height. The definition of PBL height is somewhat subjective, and there is no “truth” against which to evaluate these estimates. Users are urged to become familiar with the three methods and use their judgment as to which algorithm/estimate is most appropriate to employ for their specific applications.

For more detail, see Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) Height Value Added Product (VAP): Radiosonde Retrievals technical report.

Locations

  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Active Locations

Facility Name Start Date
Central Facility, Lamont, OK 2001-04-01
Graciosa Island, Azores, Portugal 2013-09-28
Central Facility, Barrow AK 2002-04-28

2017

Chen H, A Hodshire, J Ortega, J Greenberg, P McMurry, A Carlton, J Pierce, D Hanson, and J Smith. 2017. "Vertically resolved concentration and liquid water content of atmospheric nanoparticles at the US DOE Southern Great Plains site." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(1), doi:10.5194/acp-18-311-2018.
Research Highlight

2016

Hodshire AL, MJ Lawler, J Zhao, J Ortega, C Jen, T Yli-Juuti, JF Brewer, JK Kodros, KC Barsanti, DR Hanson, PH McMurry, JN Smith, and JR Pierce. 2016. "Multiple new-particle growth pathways observed at the US DOE Southern Great Plains field site." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16(14), 10.5194/acp-16-9321-2016.
Research Highlight

2014

Ferguson CR, JA Santanello, and P Gentine. 2014. Enhanced Soundings for Local Coupling Studies: 2015 ARM Climate Research Facility Field Campaign Science Plan. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-15-035.


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Contact

Damao Zhang
Translator
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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