The Spatial Scale Dependence Of Water Vapor Variability Inferred From Observations From A Very Tall Tower

  • Sites: US-PFa
  • Publication Type: JOUR
  • Authors: Pressel, K. G.; Collins, W. D.; Desai, A. R.

  • Recent studies have established that atmospheric water vapor fields exhibit spatial spectra that take the form of power laws and hence can be compactly characterized by scaling exponents. The power law scaling exponents have been shown to exhibit substantial vertical variability. In this work, Taylor’s frozen turbulence hypothesis is used to infer the first-order spatial structure function and generalized detrended fluctuation function scaling exponents for scales between 1 km and 100 km. Both methods are used to estimate the Hurst exponent (H) using 10 Hz time series of water vapor measured at 396 m altitude from an Ameriflux tower in Wisconsin. Due to the diurnal cycle in the boundary layer height at the 396 m observational level, H may be estimated for both the daytime convective mixed layer and the nocturnal residual layer. Values of math formula are obtained for the convective mixed layer, while values of math formula apply in the nocturnal residual layer. The results are shown to be remarkably consistent with a similar analysis from satellite-based observations as reported in Pressel and Collins (2012).


  • Journal: Journal Of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
  • Funding Agency: —
  • Citation Information:
  • Volume: 119
  • No: 16
  • Pages: 9822-9837
  • Publication Year: 2014/08
  • DOI: 10.1002/2013JD021141