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Title: Nested mesoscale-to-LES modeling of the atmospheric boundary layer in the presence of under-resolved convective structures

Abstract

Multiscale atmospheric simulations can be computationally prohibitive, as they require large domains and fine spatiotemporal resolutions. Grid-nesting can alleviate this by bridging mesoscales and microscales, but one turbulence scheme must run at resolutions within a range of scales known as the terra incognita (TI). TI grid-cell sizes can violate both mesoscale and microscale subgrid-scale parametrization assumptions, resulting in unrealistic flow structures. Herein we assess the impact of unrealistic lateral boundary conditions from parent mesoscale simulations at TI resolutions on nested large eddy simulations (LES), to determine whether parent domains bias the nested LES. We present a series of idealized nested mesoscale-to-LES runs of a dry convective boundary layer (CBL) with different parent resolutions in the TI. We compare the nested LES with a stand-alone LES with periodic boundary conditions. The nested LES domains develop ~20% smaller convective structures, while potential temperature profiles are nearly identical for both the mesoscales and LES simulations. The horizontal wind speed and surface wind shear in the nested simulations closely resemble the reference LES. Heat fluxes are overestimated by up to ~0.01 K m s –1 in the top half of the PBL for all nested simulations. Overestimates of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and Reynoldsmore » stress in the nested domains are proportional to the parent domain's grid-cell size, and are almost eliminated for the simulation with the finest parent grid-cell size. Furthermore, based on these results, we recommend that LES of the CBL be forced by mesoscale simulations with the finest practical resolution.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  3. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1373814
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1373815; OSTI ID: 1375171; OSTI ID: 1409008
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-29427; NREL/JA-5000-70510
Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; APUP UGA-0-41026-22; ACI-1126839; AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences; WRF, LES, mesoscale-to-microscale, Terra Incognita, Convective Boundary Layer, grid-nesting; 17 WIND ENERGY; WRF; LES; terra incognita; convective boundary layer; grid nesting; mesoscale-to-LES

Citation Formats

Mazzaro, Laura J., Munoz-Esparza, Domingo, Lundquist, Julie K., and Linn, Rodman R.. Nested mesoscale-to-LES modeling of the atmospheric boundary layer in the presence of under-resolved convective structures. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2017MS000912.
Mazzaro, Laura J., Munoz-Esparza, Domingo, Lundquist, Julie K., & Linn, Rodman R.. Nested mesoscale-to-LES modeling of the atmospheric boundary layer in the presence of under-resolved convective structures. United States. doi:10.1002/2017MS000912.
Mazzaro, Laura J., Munoz-Esparza, Domingo, Lundquist, Julie K., and Linn, Rodman R.. Thu . "Nested mesoscale-to-LES modeling of the atmospheric boundary layer in the presence of under-resolved convective structures". United States. doi:10.1002/2017MS000912.
@article{osti_1373814,
title = {Nested mesoscale-to-LES modeling of the atmospheric boundary layer in the presence of under-resolved convective structures},
author = {Mazzaro, Laura J. and Munoz-Esparza, Domingo and Lundquist, Julie K. and Linn, Rodman R.},
abstractNote = {Multiscale atmospheric simulations can be computationally prohibitive, as they require large domains and fine spatiotemporal resolutions. Grid-nesting can alleviate this by bridging mesoscales and microscales, but one turbulence scheme must run at resolutions within a range of scales known as the terra incognita (TI). TI grid-cell sizes can violate both mesoscale and microscale subgrid-scale parametrization assumptions, resulting in unrealistic flow structures. Herein we assess the impact of unrealistic lateral boundary conditions from parent mesoscale simulations at TI resolutions on nested large eddy simulations (LES), to determine whether parent domains bias the nested LES. We present a series of idealized nested mesoscale-to-LES runs of a dry convective boundary layer (CBL) with different parent resolutions in the TI. We compare the nested LES with a stand-alone LES with periodic boundary conditions. The nested LES domains develop ~20% smaller convective structures, while potential temperature profiles are nearly identical for both the mesoscales and LES simulations. The horizontal wind speed and surface wind shear in the nested simulations closely resemble the reference LES. Heat fluxes are overestimated by up to ~0.01 K m s–1 in the top half of the PBL for all nested simulations. Overestimates of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and Reynolds stress in the nested domains are proportional to the parent domain's grid-cell size, and are almost eliminated for the simulation with the finest parent grid-cell size. Furthermore, based on these results, we recommend that LES of the CBL be forced by mesoscale simulations with the finest practical resolution.},
doi = {10.1002/2017MS000912},
journal = {Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems},
number = 4,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jul 06 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Jul 06 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1002/2017MS000912

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