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Compulsory for main focus meteorology: Atmospheric Boundary Layer
Identification number


180 h

Term of studying
1. -3. Semester
Frequency of

Summer term

1 semester
1 Type of lessons
a) Lectures
b) Exercise
Contact times
45 h
30 h
Self-study times
45 h
60 h
Intended group size

Aims of the module and acquired skills

To create understanding of:

  • the atmospheric boundary layer and its role in weather and climate;
  • turbulent and convective flow;
  • the turbulent kinetic energy budget and its use in determining atmospheric stability;
  • the interaction between the atmospheric boundary layer and the Earth’s surface;
  • the closure problem and associated parameterization techniques;
  • boundary layer clouds

Acquired skills:
  • Describing turbulent flow using perturbed prognostic equations
  • Reynolds averaging
  • Stability analysis using the dimensionless Richardson number and Obukhov length
  • Parameterization of turbulent fluxes using K-theory
  • Applying similarity theory to interpret measurements
  • Experience with and interpretation of the bulk mixed-layer model
  • Programming experience and presentation skills
  • Interpretation of measurements of boundary-layer processes
3 Contents of the module
  • Definition of the atmospheric boundary layer
  • Mathematical tools (statistics)
  • Governing equations of turbulent flows
  • Prognostic equations for turbulent fluxes and variances
  • Turbulent kinetic energy, stability and scaling
  • Turbulence closure techniques
  • Boundary conditions and external forcings
  • Mathematical tools (time series analysis)
  • Similarity theory
  • Measurement and simulation
  • The convective mixed layer
  • Stable boundary layer
  • Boundary layer clouds
4 Teaching/Learning methods

Lectures and exercises. Exercises have a compulsory attendance. In addition a one-day excursion to the JOYCE observational site will be organized to perform and interpret measurements of boundary-layer processes (attendance recommended but not compulsory)
5 Requirements for participation

Formal: None.

With regards to content: Basic knowledge of the governing equations of atmospheric flow; Vector calculus; Linear algebra; Tensor notation

Type of module examinations

Written Examination (graded)

7 Requisites for the allocation of credits

Successful participation in the exercises (50 % of the possible points have to be obtained) and passing of the examination.

At the end of the semester or the beginning of the following semester a possibility to repeat the examination is offered. A failed examination may be repeated twice. Additional possibilities to repeat an examination exist according to the examination regulations (§ 20 section 1).

Assessments which have been passed are not allowed to be taken again, with one exception: If at the end of a module which consists of a lecture and tutorial classes, the student takes the assessment at the first available date after having received admission to the module exam, he/she is then allowed to take the examination again at the next available date for the purpose of improving the grade, even if he/she passed the assessment the first time – in this case, the better of the two grades will count towards the final degree grade (§ 20 section 9).

The module mark is the grade obtained in the assessment. In the case of two passed assessments the module mark is the better grade
8 Compatibility with other Curricula
  • Other modules of equal value can be admitted and announced by the examination board after agreement.
  • Suitable as an elective course for mathematics, physics and geoscience students
9 Significance of the module mark for the overall grade

10 Module coordinator

R. Neggers
11 Additional information

Recommended Literature:

Stull; 1988: An Introduction to Boundary Layer Meteorology. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Garratt, J. R., 1992: The Atmospheric Boundary Layer. Cambridge University Press