Convective scaling of the average dissipation rate of temperature variance in the atmospheric surface layer

Gerard Kiely, John D Albertson, M. B. Parlange, William E. Eichinger

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The flux of sensible heat from the land surface is related to the average rate of dissipation of temperature fluctuations in the atmospheric surface layer through the temperature variance budget equation. The authors study how the dissipation rate scales with atmospheric stability, using three inertial range methods to calculate the dissipation rate: power spectra, second order structure functions, and third order structure functions. It is shown that the temperature dissipation rate scales with a single convective power law continuously from near-neutral to strongly unstable stratification. The dissipation scaling is found to nearly match production in the near-neutral region, but to be consistently lower than production in the more convective regimes. The convective scaling is shown to offer a simplified means of computing sensible heat flux from the dissipation rate of temperature variance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-284
Number of pages18
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

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