The planetary boundary layer (PBL) is the lowest layer of the atmosphere that can be directly influenced with the Earth's surface. This layer can also respond to surface forcing. The determination of the PBL is significant to environmental and climate research. PBL can also serve as an input parameter for further data processing with atmospheric models. Traditional detection algorithms are susceptible to errors associated with the vertical distribution of aerosol concentrations. To overcome this limitation, a maximum difference search (MDS) algorithm was proposed to calculate the top of the boundary layer based on differences in particle characteristics. The top positions of the PBL from MDS algorithm under different convection states were compared with those from conventional methods. Experimental results demonstrated that the MDS method can determine the top of the boundary layer precisely. The proposed algorithm can also be used to calculate the top of the PBL accurately under weak convection conditions where the traditional methods cannot be applied. Finally, experimental data from June 2015 to December 2015 were analysed to verify the reliability of the MDS algorithm. The correlation coefficients R2 (RMSE) between the results of MDS algorithm and radiosonde measurements were 0.53 (115 m), 0.79 (141 m) and 0.96 (43 m) under weak, moderate and strong convections, respectively. These findings indicated that the proposed method possessed a good feasibility and stability.
Atmospheric Environment – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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