Microscale simulations of Venus' convective adjustment and mixing near the surface: Thermal and material transport processes

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Abstract

Heat and material transport processes caused by convective adjustment and mixing are important in modeling of Venus' atmosphere. In the present study, microscale atmospheric simulations near the venusian surface were conducted using a Weather Research and Forecasting model to elucidate the thermal and material transport processes of convective adjustment and mixing. When convective adjustment occurs, the heat and passive tracer are rapidly mixed into the upper stable layer with convective penetration. The convective adjustment produces large eddy diffusions of heat and passive tracer, which may explain the large eddy diffusions estimated in the radiative-convective equilibrium model.For values of surface heat flux Q greater than a threshold (=0.064Kms-1 in the present study), the convectively mixed layer with high eddy diffusion coefficients grows with time. In contrast, the mixed layer decays with time for Q values smaller than the threshold. The thermal structure near the surface is controlled not only by extremely long-term radiative processes, but also by microscale dynamics with time scales of several hours. A mixed layer with high eddy diffusion coefficients may be maintained or grow with time if the surface heat flux is high in the volcanic hotspot and adjacent areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1006
Number of pages14
JournalIcarus
Volume211
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2011

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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