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Using satellite thermal infrared imagery to study boundary layer structure in an Antarctic katabatic wind region

King, J. C.; Varley, M. J.; Lachlan-Cope, T. A.. 1998 Using satellite thermal infrared imagery to study boundary layer structure in an Antarctic katabatic wind region. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 19 (17). 3335-3348. 10.1080/014311698214028

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Abstract/Summary

We use snow surface temperatures obtained from thermal infrared (TIR) satellite imagery, together with radiosonde profiles of free-air temperature and high-resolution topographic data to study the thermal structure of the atmospheric boundary layer in a coastal region ofEast Antarctica. Surface temperatures over a coastal ice shelf are shown to be significantly lower than those observed on the lower part of the adjoining coastal slopes as a result of the strong surface temperature inversion that forms over the ice shelf. Between 400 and 1500 m elevation the surface temperature lapse rate is close to the dry adiabatic value while the free-air temperature profile is significantly stable over this height range. We argue that this implies that the strength of the surface inversion increases with increasing elevation. Above 1500 m the surface temperature lapse rate becomes significantly superadiabatic and the coldest surface temperatures are found a few 10s of kilometres inland of the highest topography. The technique may prove useful for studying boundary layer structure in other regions of Antarctica where suitable high-resolution topographic data are available.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1080/014311698214028
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Pre 2000 programme
ISSN: 0143-1161
Date made live: 04 Dec 2013 11:35 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/504120

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