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The Alpine mountain-plain circulation: Airborne Doppler lidar measurements and numerical simulations

Weissmann, Martin and Braun, Frank J. and Gantner, Leonhard and Mayr, Georg J. and Rahm, Stephan and Reitebuch, Oliver (2005) The Alpine mountain-plain circulation: Airborne Doppler lidar measurements and numerical simulations. Monthly Weather Review, 133, pp. 3095-3109. American Meteorological Society. DOI: 10.1175/MWR3012.1


Official URL: http://ams.allenpress.com/amsonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2FMWR3012.1


On summer days radiative heating of the Alps produces rising air above the mountains and a resulting inflow of air from the foreland. This leads to a horizontal transport of air from the foreland to the Alps, and a vertical transport from the boundary layer into the free troposphere above the mountains. The structure and the transports of this mountain–plain circulation in southern Germany (“Alpine pumping”) were investigated using an airborne 2-μm scanning Doppler lidar, a wind-temperature radar, dropsondes, rawinsondes, and numerical models. The measurements were part of the Vertical Transport and Orography (VERTIKATOR) campaign in summer 2002. Comparisons of dropsonde and lidar data proved that the lidar is capable of measuring the wind direction and wind speed of this weak flow toward the Alps (1–4 m s<sup>-1</sup>). The flow was up to 1500 m deep, and it extended 80 km into the Alpine foreland. Lidar data are volume measurements (horizontal resolution 5 km, vertical resolution 100 m). Therefore, they are ideal for the investigation of the flow structure and the comparison to numerical models. Even the vertical velocities measured by the lidar agreed with the mass budget calculations in terms of both sign and magnitude. The numerical simulations with the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5) (mesh size 2 and 6 km) and the Local Model (LM) of the German Weather Service (mesh size 2.8 and 7 km) reproduced the general flow structure and the mass fluxes toward the Alps within 86%–144% of the observations.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/20315/
Document Type:Article
Title:The Alpine mountain-plain circulation: Airborne Doppler lidar measurements and numerical simulations
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Braun, Frank J.FZ Karlsruhe, KarlsruheUNSPECIFIED
Gantner, LeonhardUniv. of Munich, MünchenUNSPECIFIED
Mayr, Georg J.Univ. Innsbruck, Innsbruck, AUNSPECIFIED
Date:November 2005
Journal or Publication Title:Monthly Weather Review
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1175/MWR3012.1
Page Range:pp. 3095-3109
Publisher:American Meteorological Society
Keywords:VERTIKATOR, thermally driven wind, numerical simulation, MM5, LM, Doppler lidar
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Projekt ADM II (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Weissmann, Martin
Deposited On:19 Mar 2008
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:16

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