Turbulent fluxes from Helipod flights above quasi-homogeneous patches within the LITFASS area

Turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent heat were measured with the helicopter- borne turbulence probe Helipod over a heterogeneous landscape around the Meteorological Observatory Lindenberg during the STINHO-2 and LITFASS-2003 field experiments. Besides the determination of area-averaged heat fluxes, the analysis focused on different aspects of the response of the turbulent structure of the convective boundary layer (CBL) on the surface heterogeneity. A special flight pattern was designed to study flux profiles both over quasi-homogeneous sub-areas of the study region (representing the major land use types—forest, farmland, water) and over a typical mixture of the different surfaces. Significant differences were found between the heat fluxes over the individual surfaces along flight legs at about 80m above ground level, in agreement with large-aperture scintillometer measurements. This flux separation was still present during some flights at levels near the middle of the CBL. Different scales for the blending height and horizontal heterogeneity were calculated, but none of them could be identified as a reliable indicator of the mixing state of the lower CBL. With the exception of the flights over water, the latent heat flux measurements generally showed a larger statistical error when compared with the sensible heat flux. Correlation coefficients and integral length scales were used to characterise the interplay between the vertical transport of sensible and latent heat, which was found to vary between ‘fairly correlated’ and ‘decoupled’, also depending on the soil moisture conditions.


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