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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-978
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-978
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 19 Nov 2018

Research article | 19 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy in stably stratified sheared flows

Sergej Zilitinkevich1,2,3,4, Oleg Druzhinin5, Andrey Glazunov6, Evgeny Kadantsev2, Evgeny Mortikov4,6, Iryna Repina4,7, and Yulia Troitskaya5 Sergej Zilitinkevich et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, 00101, Finland
  • 2Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research / Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, 00014, Finland
  • 3Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, 603950, Russia
  • 4Lomonosov Moscow State University, 117192, Russia
  • 5Institute of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhny Novgorod, 603950, Russia
  • 6Institute of Numerical Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119991, Russia
  • 7Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119017, Russia

Abstract. Over the years, the problem of dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) in stable stratification remained unclear because of the practical impossibility to directly measure the process of dissipation that takes place at the smallest scales of turbulent motions. Poor representation of dissipation causes intolerable uncertainties in turbulence-closure theory and, thus, in modelling stably stratified turbulent flows. We obtain theoretical solution to this problem for the whole range of stratifications from neutral to limiting stable; and validate it via (i) direct numerical simulation (DNS) immediately detecting the dissipation rate and (ii) indirect estimates of dissipation rate retrieved via the TKE-budget equation from atmospheric measurements of other components of the TKE-budget. The proposed formulation of dissipation rate will be of use in any turbulence-closure models employing the TKE budget equation and in problems requiring precise knowledge of the high-frequency part of turbulence spectra in atmospheric chemistry, aerosol science and microphysics of clouds.

Sergej Zilitinkevich et al.
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Sergej Zilitinkevich et al.
Sergej Zilitinkevich et al.
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We consider the budget of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) in stably-stratified flows. TKE is generated by velocity shear, then partially converted into potential energy, but basically cascades towards very small eddies and dissipates into heat. The TKE dissipation rate is vital for comprehending and modelling turbulent flows in geophysics, astrophysics and engineering. Until now its dependence on static stability remained unclear. We define it theoretically and validate against experimental data.
We consider the budget of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) in stably-stratified flows. TKE is...
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