Improvement of the K-profile model for the planetary boundary layer based on large eddy simulation data

Y. Noh, W. G. Cheon, S. Y. Hong, S. Raasch

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600 Citations (Scopus)


Modifications of the widely used K-profile model of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), reported by Troen and Mahrt (TM) in 1986, are proposed and their effects examined by comparison with large eddy simulation (LES) data. The modifications involve three parts. First, the heat flux from the entrainment at the inversion layer is incorporated into the heat and momentum profiles, and it is used to predict the growth of the PBL directly. Second, profiles of the velocity scale and the Prandtl number in the PBL are proposed, in contrast to the constant values used in the TM model. Finally, non-local mixing of momentum was included. The results from the new PBL model and the original TM model are compared with LES data. The TM model was found to give too high PBL heights in the PBL with strong shear, and too low heights for the convection-dominated PBL, which causes unrealistic heat flux profiles. The new PBL model improves the predictability of the PBL height and produces profiles that are more realistic. Moreover, the new PBL model produces more realistic profiles of potential temperature and velocity. We also investigated how each of these three modifications affects the results, and found that explicit representation of the entrainment rate is the most critical.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-427
Number of pages27
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Prof. T.Y. Lee of Yonsei University for his interest and critical comments. This study has been supported by National Research Laboratory Program from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Cooperative Research under the Korean-German Science Program, SRC Program from KOSEF, and by BK21 Project from the Ministry of Education, Korea.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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