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PhD Proposal Defense - Chris Wilson

Chris successfully defended his thesis proposal on June 12, 2009.

A Remote Sensing Study of Boundary Layer Venting during Dynamic Events with the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI)

The study of atmospheric processes in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) is a very complex and interesting field. By definition, the PBL is the region of the atmosphere with turbulent motions resulting from the no-slip boundary condition with the surface, and its depth can range from 30 meters in conditions of large static stability to up to 3 kilometers in highly convective regimes. This project will quantify mixing of trace gases including CO, O3, and H2O into and out of the boundary layer. Our focus will be on days when either Horizontal Convective Rolls (HCR) or Low Level Jets (LLJ) occur in the boundary layer. New remote sensing techniques to retrieve information about the trace gases will be further developed using the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI). Specifically, we will update the current CO retrieval algorithm which retrieves one mixing ratio value for the entire troposphere. The improvements will be to obtain values for CO in the boundary layer and in the free troposphere. CO’s 1-2 month lifetime makes it an excellent passive tracer of atmospheric motions; thus, monitoring it will quantify mixing from the boundary layer to the free troposphere. To validate the CO retrieval, we will utilize the 3+ years (2006-2009) of aircraft CO profiles obtained at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program Southern Great Plains (SGP) site near Lamont Oklahoma. A comparison of work already done on the new retrieval compared to the old retrieval will be shown. Also, a presentation of case study days of LLJ and HCR will highlight the need to improve the retrieval.