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IL NUOVO CIMENTO

DOI 10.1393/ncc/i2006-10019-9

Vol. 29 C, N. 5

Settembre-Ottobre 2006

A reanalysis of the atmospheric boundary layer field experiment


(SPCFLUX93) at San Pietro Capofiume (Italy)( )
C. Cassardo(1 ), S. Ferrarese(1 ), A. Longhetto(1 ), M. G. Morselli(2 )
and G. Brusasca(2 )
(1 ) Dipartimento di Fisica Generale, Universit`
a di Torino - Via P. Giuria 1
10125 Turin, Italy
(2 ) ARIANET S.r.l. - Via Gilino 9, 20128 Milan, Italy
(ricevuto il 22 Maggio 2006; approvato il 10 Luglio 2006)

Summary. A fortnight eld experiment was carried out at San Pietro Capoume
(Po Valley, Italy) during the month of June, 1993, and was named SPCFLUX93.
This location was chosen as representative of the Po Valley. The SPCFLUX93
experiment was devised according to the results of some previous measurements
carried out in mountainous areas of South Europe (i.e. ALPEXALPine EXperiment, PYREXPYRenean Experiment), and aimed to represent a prototype for
further eld observations. The dataset of the SPCFLUX93 experiment consisted
of: i) meteorological and chemical data collected continuously with slow-response
sensors in the atmospheric surface layer and into the soil; ii) data coming from fastresponse instrumentation (sonic anemometers and uxmeter); iii) radiosoundings
carried out with free and tethered balloons; iv) continuous vertical wind soundings
with a Mini-Sodar. The aim of the SPCFLUX93 eld experiment was to investigate
the following topics: atmospheric turbulence, dry and wet atmospheric total deposition, energy balance, thermal wave propagation in the soil. Few years later, the atmospheric and hydrological scientic community conduced an extensive programme,
the Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP), on weather and climate in mountainous
regions. This programme considered many aspects of alpine meteorology, ranging
from high-resolution numerical modelling to experimental campaigns performed on
both sides of the Alps, with the aim to better understand the interaction processes of
atmospheric uxes with the orography. Many puzzling problems were posed by the
complexity of these interactions; among them, the perturbations on the boundary
layer structure caused by the airows that cross the Alps and reach the Po Valley
would still require more experimental observations and theoretical studies. These
considerations prompted us to reanalyze the SPCFLUX93 dataset.

( ) The authors of this paper have agreed to not receive the proofs for correction.
c Societ`

a Italiana di Fisica

565

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In this paper, a layout of the eld experiment (including the instrumentation details,
the experimental relevant dataset and database composed by meteorological standard data, vertical prole data, ultrasonic anemometer data, and chemical data) is
presented; the collected data are described; the details of the mesoscale meteorological situation over San Pietro Capoume during the experiment are presented;
nally, some analyses on the data are shown, and the main results coming from the
several applications carried out using the dataset are illustrated or summarized. In
particular, the most interesting results are related to the following topics: the characteristics of the turbulence in the surface layer (using the fast-response data), the
validation of land surface schemes (using the surface observations), the evaluation
of mixed layer depth (using radon ux data) and the estimate of deposition velocity.
PACS 92.60.-e Properties and dynamics of the atmosphere; meteorology.

1. Introduction
A renewed interest in the meteorology around and downwind of large mountain ranges
like the Alps prompted the atmospheric and hydrological scientic community to promote
the comprehensive programme MAP (Mesoscale Alpine Programme [1, 2]). MAP was
dedicated to the eld observation and model simulation on the Alpine Meteorology, and
intended to lighten many aspects of the interaction between synoptic atmospheric ow
and the Alps. In particular, the relevance of mesoscale circulation patterns induced in the
Po Valley by the Alpine chain on the occasion of specic directions of the atmospheric
ow was recognised and studied. For this reason, a number of xed target areas for
ground-based observing systems were envisaged on the southern side of the Alps (the Po
Valley).
The Po Valley is a at region located in northern Italy around the 45th parallel and
stretched along the Po River, bounded on the North and the West by the Alps (a compact
topographic barrier extended along parallels on its eastern range and C shaped on the
western one, and with its greatest vertical extension in the north-western sector) and on
the South by the Apennines (a smoother and lower barrier disposed along an axis NW-SE
from northern to southern Italy). Due to this particular conguration, the climate of the
Po Valley can be assumed to belong to the sub-littoral continental type [3], characterised
by a typical low wind regime, with frequent occurrence of nocturnal thermal inversions
and diurnal convective conditions. In fact, the Po valley peculiar geographic characteristics allows to assimilate this area to a large valley bounded by two mountainous ridges
(Alps and Apennines) sheltering the lowland from northerly and westerly synoptic circulation and favouring mesoscale, thermally induced breeze circulation. Thus, observations
of vertical proles of wind, humidity and temperature in the lower troposphere and of
momentum, sensible and latent heat uxes in the surface layer could be used to check or
improve the turbulence parameterisations in the atmospheric boundary layer of the lee
side ow.
In conformity with previously performed experiments over mountainous areas of South
Europe (ALPEXALPine Experiment: [4]; PYREXPYRenean Experiment: [5]), a
eld observation campaign on the atmospheric boundary layer was organised in 1993
in the middle eastern region of the Po Valley. A joint Italian team participated in the
preliminary and in the active phases of the campaign. The team was composed of: the

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567

Department of General Physics of University (DFG) of Turin, the Institutes of Science


of Atmosphere and Climate (ISAC) of Turin and Bologna, the former Centre of the
Environmental and Material Research of the Electric Power Board (ENEL) of Milan, the
Centre of Information, Studies and Experiences (CISE) of Segrate (Milan) and the Joint
Research Centre (JRC) of Ispra (Varese).
This campaign aimed to investigate the following objectives: atmospheric turbulence,
energy balance, thermal wave propagation in the soil, dry and wet atmospheric total
deposition, and in the selection of the most suitable site for the experiment. The chosen
location was San Pietro Capoume (hereafter referenced as SPC and described in detail
in sect. 2), and the campaign was named SPCFLUX93.
The period of the year chosen for the active phase was the month of June. As the
climatology of the region suggested that usually the spring rainy period ends in the
rst weeks of June, in order to have a good chance to measure well-established diurnal
convective and nocturnal stable episodes, it was decided to start the measurements in
the second part of the month of June.
In this paper, a description of the site can be found in sect. 2, while an account of the
deployed instrumentation is given in sect. 3. The meteorological conditions during the
active phase of the campaign are discussed in sect. 4. A summary of the data collected
during SPCFLUX93 is shown in sect. 5. Some analyses of the data are resumed in sect. 6.
2. The site
San Pietro Capoume is located at about 30 km east of Bologna (northern Italy),
in the southern central part of the Po Valley, at a height of about 10 m above the sea
level, at a distance of about 100 km from the Apennines chain, and about 60 km from the
Adriatic sea (g. 1). Near the station, the soil type is loam, and the dominant vegetation
type is grass, regularly cut by the farmers. This site was selected for several reasons.
Firstly, the vegetation cover can be considered uniform at the mesoscale range, although
there were dierent kinds of canopy in the neighbourhood of the station. Secondly, SPC
was selected as a suitable site for a WMO (Word Meteorological Organisation) station
(code 16144) because it is located in a at region (horizontally homogeneous at local
scale), thus its in situ data could be also considered as representative of the surrounding
wider region stretched from the Apennines chain to the Adriatic sea. Finally, ENEL and
CISE already performed conventional atmospheric measurements at SPC as far back as
the year 1992. It was then decided to use the existing station, and to equip it with new
sensors.
3. The instrumentation and the dataset
The instruments used in SPCFLUX93 experiment were installed at 18 dierent locations around the SPC meteorological station. All general information regarding the 18
locations are summarised in table I. The locations could be split into 5 groups, according
to the measurements carried out:
a) Standard meteorological observations:
locations T1A, T1B, T2, T3 and T4 were equipped with slow-response (response time
1 s) instruments (table II).
b) Advanced meteorological observations:

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C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 1. Detailed map of the San Pietro Capoume area; the box in the right-bottom sector
indicates the location of the area.

locations S1, S2, S3 and S4 were equipped with fast-response ( < 1 s) instruments
(table III).
c) Vertical prole observations:
4 locations were equipped to measure vertical proles (table IV): P1 (Mini-Sodar, working almost continuously during the experiment, gives vertical proles of horizontal wind
velocity and direction with a vertical resolution of 10 m); P2 (Airsonde balloons, give
vertical proles in the layer 03000 m, with a resolution of about 10 m); P3 (Tethersonde
balloons, give vertical proles in the layer 0500 m, with a resolution of about 510 m);
P4 (WMO radiosounding station, giving four vertical proles a day in the troposphere,
at 00, 06, 12 and 18 UTC with mandatory and signicant levels).
d) Deposition measurements:
3 locations providing integrated concentration data of some atmospheric trace gases subdivided according to the deposition type were included in this group: I1 (dry deposition),
I2 (wet deposition) and I3 (fog deposition); they are reported in table V.
e) Radon concentration measurements:
2 stations were included in this group: R1 (atmospheric concentration) and R2 (soil
concentration); they are reported in table VI.
The SPCFLUX93 eld experiment dataset was made up of the instantaneous data
recorded by the instruments installed in location S1 and S2 (fast-response sensors), P1,

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Table I. General information about the locations and the database.


Group
(*)

Location

Owner

Acquisition
time

Averaging
time

Site

Availability of
instantaneous
data

T1A

ENEL - SRI
ENVIRONMENTAL AREA
ICG/CNR DFG

2s

30 min

shelter

no

T1B

ENEL - SRI
ENVIRONMENTAL AREA

2s

30 min

mast

no

T2

FISBAT/CNR

1 min

30 min

tower

no

T3

SMR/ER (**)

1 min

1h

shelter

no

T4

IMS (***)

3h

3h

shelter

no

S1

ENEL S.P.A. - SRI ENVIRONMENTAL AREA,


DFG

1021 Hz

30 min

mast

yes

S2

DFG

21 Hz

30 min

tower

yes

S3

JRC

1021 Hz

15 min

tower

no

S4

JRC

1021 Hz

30 min

mast

no

P1

ENEL S.P.A. - SRI ENVIRONMENTAL AREA,


CISE

10 min

30 min

profile

No

P2

ENEL - SRI
ENVIRONMENTAL AREA

23 h

profile

Yes

P3

ENEL - SRI
ENVIRONMENTAL AREA

23 h

profile

Yes

P4

IMS (***)

12 h

profile

Yes

I1

ENEL S.P.A. - SRI ENVIRONMENTAL AREA,


CISE

34 days

shelter

Yes

I2

FISBAT/CNR

1 week

ground

Yes

I3

ENEL S.P.A. - SRI ENVIRONMENTAL AREA,


FISBAT/CNR

event

ground

Yes

R1

CISE

1 min

30 min

shelter

No

R2

CISE

1 min

30 min

ground

No

e
(*) As specified in sect. 3.
(**) Regional Meteorological Service of Emilia-Romagna Region.
(***) Italian Meteorological Service.

P2, P3 and P4 (vertical prolers), and I1, I2 and I3 (chemical measurements), and of
the averaged data recorded by the other instruments, whose software directly calculated
the output. For sake of uniformity, in the reanalysis the data coming from the locations
S1 and S2 were averaged and the database was created according to the specications of
table I.

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C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Table II. List of standard meteorological observations (group a, see table I and sect. 3).
Location

Physical quantity measured

Height of measurement

Unit

T1A

Air pressure

2m

hPa

T1A

Precipitation

2m

mm

T1A

Concentrations of SO2 ,NO,NO2 ,O3

2m

ppb

T1B

Air temperature

2,10 m

T1B

Soil temperature

0,5,10,20,30,50,100 cm

T1B

Relative humidity

2m

T1B

Soil moisture

10 cm

T1B

Leaf wetness

0.5 m

02 (Dry/Wet)

T1B

Solar global radiation

2m

mW/cm2

T1B

Net radiation

2m

mW/cm2

T1B

Soil heat flux

3,8,15 cm

mW/m2

T1B

Horizontal wind velocity and direction

10 m

m/s, deg

T2

Air temperature

1,5,10,30,50 m

T2

Relative humidity

1,50 m

T2

Horizontal wind velocity and direction

1,5,10,30,50 m

m/s, deg

T3

Air temperature

0.5,1.5 m

T3

Relative humidity

1.5 m

T3

Solar global radiation

1.5 m

W/m2

T3

Precipitation

1.5 m

cumulated mm

T3

Horizontal wind velocity and direction

10 m

m/s, deg

T4

Air and dew point temp.

2m

T4

Atmospheric pressure

2m

hPa

T4

Precipitation

2m

cumulated mm

T4

Horizontal wind velocity and direction

10 m

m/s, deg

T4

Cloudiness

2m

eighths

4. Mesoscale meteorological situation over SPC during the experiment


The main meteorological characteristics, analyzed using the European Meteorological
Bulletin [6] maps, are here summarized.
On the 15th of June, a weak depression centred on the Po Valley at 00 UTC (i.e. 02
a.m. local time) was lling, with winds at 850, 700 and 500 hPa coming from NW. On
the 16th, the pressure and geopotential gradients at all levels were weak. On the 17th,
a frontal cold system approached the eastern Alps, driven by NW winds at 500 hPa. In
the evening of the 17th (between 8.00 p.m. and 8.30 p.m., as we can see in g. 6), this
cold front crossed SPC station during its motion toward SE. Following it, a wedge of
relatively high pressure established on the Po Valley, with post-frontal surface currents
toward west and at 700 hPa toward east. In the following period, from the 19th to the
22nd, the pressure eld was high and at. All frontal systems kept bounded North of

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571

Table III. List of advanced meteorological observations (group b, see table I and sect. 3).
Location

Physical quantity measured

Height of
measurement

Unit

S1

Sonic 3D wind and sound velocity

10 m

m/s

S1

Sonic vertical wind velocity

10 m

m/s

S1

Temperature uctuations

10 m

S1

Moisture uctuations

10 m

g/m3

S2

Sonic 3D wind and sound velocity

25 m

m/s

S3

Sonic 3D wind and sound velocity

10 m

m/s

S3

O3 uctuations

10 m

ppb

S3

NO2 uctuations

10 m

ppb

S4

Sonic 3D wind and sound velocity

10 m

m/s

S4

Moisture uctuations

10 m

g/m3

S4

O3 uctuations

10 m

ppb

S4

Net radiation

2m

W/m2

S4

Soil heat ux

3 cm

W/m2

Table IV. List of vertical prole observations (group c, see table I and sect. 3).
Location

Physical quantity measured

Height of
measurement

Unit

Vertical
resolution

P1

Horizontal wind velocity and direction prole

0350 m

m/s, deg

10 m

(*)

P2

Dry and wet bulb temperature prole

03000 m

P2

Atmospheric pressure prole

03000 m

P3

Dry and wet bulb temperature prole

0500 m

P3

Atmospheric pressure prole

P3
P3

10 m

hPa

10 m

510 m

0500 m

hPa

510 m

Horizontal wind velocity and direction prole

0500 m

m/s, deg

510 m

O3 concentration prole

0500 m

ppb

510 m

P4

Dry and wet bulb temperature prole

0100 hPa

P4

Atmospheric pressure prole

P4

Horizontal wind velocity and direction prole

Mandatory and significant levels.

(*)

0100 hPa

hPa

(*)

0100 hPa

m/s, deg

(*)

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C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Table V. List of deposition measurements (group d, see table I and sect. 3).
Location

Physical quantity measured

Height of
measurement

Unit

I1

Air concentrations of SO2 , SO4 = , NO2 , NO3 , NH3 ,


NH4 + , HNO2 and HNO3

1m

g/m3

I2

Precipitation

1m

mm

I2

Acidity of precipitation

1m

PH

I2

Conducibility of precipitation

1m

s/cm

I2

Concentration of NH4 , Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cl , NO3 ,


SO4= and PO4= , in precipitation

1m

mg/l

I2

Alkalinity of precipitation

1m

meq/l

I3

Quantity of droplets

1.5 m

mm

I3

Acidity of droplets

1.5 m

pH

I3

Conducibility of droplets

1.5 m

s/cm

I3

Concentrations of NH4 + , Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cl , NO3 ,


SO4= , PO4 = , Fe, Mn, Pb, Br, Fl and Sulphite in
droplets

1.5 m

mg/l

I3

Alkalinity of droplets

1.5 m

meq/l

I3

Sum of anions and cations in droplets

1.5 m

the Alps, and 500 hPa ow was slowly rotating counter-clockwise, blowing from West
(on the 20th), SW (on the 21st) and nally from South (on the 22nd). On the 23rd,
a SW circulation driven by the deep minimum over Finland created the conditions for
an episode of surface orographic cyclogenesis over the Ligurian Sea, with the onset of
a frontal S-shaped system at the surface (over the Atlantic Ocean) and a strong SW
ow at 500 hPa. In the morning of the 25th, a wedge of the Azores anticyclone moved
rapidly toward the Po Valley lling the pre-existing depression and causing a 500 hPa
ow from NW.
On the 26th and the 27th, the surface high-pressure eld over the Po Valley remained
substantially levelled, while the airow came from NW at 700 and 500 hPa. On the 28th,
a frontal cold system approached the northern side of the Alps, originating pre-frontal
ows from SW at the surface, and from WNW at 700 and 500 hPa. Finally, on the 29th,

Table VI. List of radon concentration measurements (group e, see table I and sect. 3).
Location

Physical quantity measured

Height of
measurement

Unit

R1

Air concentration of radon

2m

Bq/m3

R2

Soil radon ux

50 cm

mBq/m2 s

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573

Fig. 2. Time trend of global radiation (location T1B, solid line) and net radiation (location
T1B, dashed line), in Wm2 , during the whole campaign.

the low pressure associated with this system drew SW currents at all levels.
From the above analysis it might be summarized that, in the whole observation period,
the meteorological conditions were stable, with only 3 exceptions: the passage of a cold
front during the 18th, the cyclogenetic episode on 23rd-24th and a cyclonic situation on
the 28th.
5. Overall view of data
During the campaign, an enormous amount of data was collected. In this paper,
we only describe the most meaningful patterns, showing a signicant subset. For the
complete record of data, the reader is referred to [7]. While otherwise stated, hours are
indicated in local time, i.e. 2 hours later than the UTC or GMT.
.
5 1. Meteorological standard data. The solar global radiation (at location T1B)
showed peak values slightly larger than 900 Wm2 (g. 2, solid line), and on the 16th,
18th, 19th, 22nd, 26th, 27th and 28th the daily trend was typical of a cloudless day.
Net radiation (at the same location) reached as far as 550600 Wm2 during daytime
(g. 2, dashed line) while the night time values generally did not exceed the threshold of
50 Wm2 , with the minimums recorded immediately after the sunset.
A unique severe rainfall event was recorded (at T1A location) during the campaign,
in the morning of the 25th, and an episode of weak rain was observed near the noon
of the 23rd. The relative humidity (measured in location T1B) showed a regular daily
cycle, with a maximum during night time (the 100% level was reached on every night but
on the 21st, 23rd and 24th) and a minimum of about 3040% at 2 p.m. The nocturnal
values of relative humidity and net radiation supported the possibility of the formation
of a thin layer of haze in the rst hours of the morning, typical of the climate of the Po
Valley.
Air temperature measured at the meteorological shelter height showed a typical daily

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C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 3. Time trend of air temperature gathered at T2 location at dierent heights


(1,5,10,30,50 m) and indicated respectively as T1, T5, T10, T30 and T50 on the 26th of June
1993, in Celsius degrees.

trend with the highest values (about 30 C) on the 23rd and 28th and the lowest nocturnal
values on the 16th (about 12.5 C). The maximum daily excursion (about 12 C) was
observed on the cloudless days. Soil temperature measured 20 cm underground (location
T1B) showed a behaviour similar to the one of air temperature with a time lag of 4-5
hours and with the maximum excursion (about 3-4 C) during the cloudless days. The
peaks (about 25 C) were observed on the 23rd and 28th, while the minimum value (about
20.5 C) was recorded on the 16th.
Figure 3 reports, as an example of a typical clean-sky day, the daily trend of air
temperatures measured at 1, 5, 10, 30 and 50 m in the station T2 on the day 26th.
In the central hours of the day, the atmosphere was vertically almost isothermal, while
during night time a stable thermal stratication developed and grew, with temperature
dierences of 3 C or more. On the contrary, the relative humidity (location T2) presented
the largest dierences in the daytime (more than 20% between the measurements at 50 m
and at 1 m).
Air pressure (location T1A) reached its highest value on the 25th (1024 hPa), with
two other relative maxima on the 16th and 18th, while the lowest value was recorded on
the 23rd (1010 hPa, just before the cyclogenesis occurrence). Two other relative minima
were present on the 17th and 28th, according with the meteorological analysis of sect. 4.
Horizontal wind speed (at T2 location) was always lower than 6 ms1 , excepting on
the late evening of the 17th and on the 23rd, on the occasion of the fronts passage.
Especially in the sunny days, a marked daily cycle was present, with nearly zero values
during night time (on the 18th and 19th) and peaks of about 4-6 ms1 around noon.
Concerning the wind proles gathered in station T2, g. 4 reports the daily trend of
horizontal wind speeds measured at 1, 5, 10, 30 and 50 m, gathered during the day 26th.
At all levels, the wind speed proles showed a similar behaviour. In particular, during
this day, due to the high-pressure circulation, wind velocity remained unusually low until
6.00 p.m., while in the evening the sea breeze circulation was restored.

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Fig. 4. Time trend of horizontal wind speed gathered at T2 location at dierent heights
(1,5,10,30,50 m) and indicated, respectively, as V1, V5, V10, V30 and V50 on the 26th of June
1993, in ms1 .

.
5 1.1. The wind in the surface layer. Comparing the horizontal wind speeds v1 and v10
measured at 1 m and 10 m, respectively (location T2), the following regression line was
found:
(1a)

v1 = Av10 ,

with A = 1.41 0.01. This equation is consistent with the assumption of the logarithmic
wind prole for a neutral atmosphere over vegetation:
(1b)

v(z) =

u
ln
k

zd
z0


,

where u is the friction velocity, k the von Karman constant, d the zero-plane displacement length, z the vertical height and z0 the roughness length. In fact, when the typical
expressions for z0 and d (z0
= 0.10h, d
= 0.67h, where h is the vegetation height) are
considered, in the case of short grass (h = 1050 cm) the ratio v10 m /v1 m varies in the
range 1.331.44.
.
5 1.2. The calibration of soil misture sensor. The sensor type MC1, manufactured by
Lastem and installed during SPCFLUX93 at location T1B, is a conducimetric probe for
the measure of the soil water content. The dimensions of the probe, roughly assimilable to
a parallelepiped, are approximately 23 12 3 mm3 . This sensor evaluates soil moisture
measuring the value of the electrical resistance in alternate current between two electrodes
separated by a hygroscopic dielectric. The electrodes are shielded by a cover made of
stainless steel with holes in order to assure the equilibrium with the outside water.
The correlation between conductivity and water content depends on the composition
and the degree of soil compaction, and must be obtained experimentally, as well as the
dependence on the temperature of the sensor. The factory indicates in the operational

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C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

manual some general functions which can be used for generic sandy and loamy soils. In
order to get the true correlation function for the SPC soil, an experimental set-up was
prepared.
Due to the dierent speed of propagation of the water in the land according to its
humidity and the possibility of the evaporation of the water from the soil volume sample,
a small container, whose dimensions were slightly larger than those of the sensor, was
used. A plastic cylinder with its top open was chosen. The soil volume in the cylinder
was Vrs = 33.6 0.6 cm3 . All following measurements were repeated ten times, and
their average was chosen. To avoid the evaporation from the container, the recipient was
enveloped in a wool rag.
The cylinder was gradually lled with water and the current output was measured with
a Fluke multimeter for a time of 2 hours, in order to have a stable current output. There
were strong uctuations in the current, thus the arithmetic mean between the minimum
and the maximum currents recorded was chosen. As error, the largest dierence between
the minimum and the maximum currents recorded was chosen, i.e. 0.1 mA, larger than
the instrumental precision (0.01 mA). Finally, to determine the water content, the total
weight of probe, water and recipient was measured.
Two experiments were performed. The type of soil was: in the rst experiment, a
sandy soil sample taken from the Po river beach in Turin; in the second one, the SPC
soil of the measurement site described in sect. 2.
In table VII, the consecutive measurements carried out with sandy soil are reported.
The error associated to the water weights was assumed for all measurements as the
greatest average error, i.e. 0.4 g. The last column of table VII reports the volumetric soil
moisture content ().
Looking at the table, in correspondence of the sample test number 7 a discontinuity
is evident, due to the impossibility to execute consecutive measures. These values were
left with the purpose to evidence eventual phenomena of hysteresis, which, as can be
seen, in sandy soil is very small.
Also for the SPC soil measurement, the procedure was the same described above. The
measurements are reported in table VIII. Even in this case, a strong discontinuity (tests
4-5) is present in the measurements, but, in the case of loam soil, the hysteresis is most
remarkable. Two could be the reasons for this behaviour, perhaps caused by the presence
of a vertical gradient in the container: i) the gravitational drainage; ii) the evaporation
of surface soil in the container. Thus, the test numbers 4 and 5 were excluded from the
calculation of the regression curve.
For the calculation of the calibration curves, two dierent kinds of curves were selected: linear and exponential regression. For both soils, the curves with the best correlation coecient were the exponential ones.
For the sandy soil, the regression curve between the volumetric soil content (in
m3 m3 ) and the current i (expressed in mA) was
(2)

SAND = A exp[Bi],

A = 2.86 0.06 m3 m3 , B = 0.30 0.06.

For the loamy soil, the regression curve was


(3)

LOAM = A exp[Bi],

A = 1.266 0.013 m3 m3 , B = 0.14 0.02.

To obtain the saturation ratio (q), equal to the ratio between the volumetric soil content
() and the porosity (s ), it is sucient to multiply the A coecients in eqs. (2) and (3) by

577

A REANALYSIS OF THE ATMOSPHERIC BOUNDARY LAYER FIELD EXPERIMENT ETC.

Table VII. List of measurements relative to sandy soil of Po river beach at Torino. Second
column reports the quantity of water in the cylinder. Third column reports the current circulating
through the sensor. Fourth column reports the volumetric soil content evaluated as the ratio
between the water content (2nd column) and the total volume.
Test
number

Water
weight
(0.4 g)

Current
(0.1 mA)

(0.02 m3 /m3 )

0.0

20.8

0.00

2.4

12.9

0.07

3.8

10.4

0.11

4.8

9.8

0.14

5.4

9.5

0.16

8.0

9.2

0.24

2.8

11.8

0.08

4.6

9.6

0.14

6.2

9.3

0.18

10

6.8

9.0

0.20

11

8.4

8.9

0.25

12

10.4

8.5

0.31

13

10.8

7.3

0.32

14

12.2

6.6

0.36

Table VIII. Same of table VII but for loamy soil (SPC station).
Test
number

Water
weight
(0.4 g)

Current
(0.1 mA)

(0.02 m3 /m3 )

0.0

20.7

0.00

3.4

18.3

0.10

5.2

14.0

0.15

1.8

14.7

0.05

2.0

14.6

0.06

5.8

14.1

0.17

7.0

11.3

0.21

10.8

10.1

0.32

13.0

8.8

0.39

10

15.0

7.4

0.45

578

C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 5. Graphic of the behaviour of the relationship = (i) given by eq. (4) for loam soil
compared with the measurements performed in this work (squares) and with the experimental
points (diamonds) fournished by the probe manifacturer.

the porosities for sandy soil (s = 0.395 m3 m3 ) and for loamy soil (s = 0.451 m3 m3 ),
according to [8].
In g. 5, the diagram of the relation = (i) for the loamy soil (eq. (3)) is compared
with the measurements carried out in this work (squares) and with the measurements
supplied from the manufacturer in the manual (diamonds). As can be seen, there is a full
correspondence between the values supplied from the manufacturer for a generic loam
soil (composed of 74% of sand, 15% of lime and 11% of clay) and the curve of eq. (3).
Regarding the dependence of the measured current (i) from the temperature (T ) of the
sensor, two measurements were carried out using the same loamy soil. On this occasion,
the same quantity of soil moisture was used. The two measurements were performed at
the temperatures T1 = 20 C and T2 = 1 C, giving current values i1 = 12.0 0.1 mA
and i2 = 12.9 0.1 mA, respectively. Using these two points, the angular coecient for
the temperature dependence was evaluated as = 0.0474 0.0008 mA/ C. Therefore,
assuming as reference temperature the value T0 = 20 C, the corrected current icorr
referred to the reference temperature T0 could be evaluated from the current i measured
at the generic temperature T by means of the relationship
(4)

icorr = i + (T0 T ).

.
5 2. Vertical profile data. Figure 6 shows the time trend of the wind velocity proles
recorded by the Mini-Sodar during the passage of the cold front on the evening of the
17th at the SPC station. From these plots, it is evident the clockwise rotation of the
wind direction from NW to NE and its strengthening after 8.30 p.m., thus it is possible
to track the front passage at surface between 8.00 p.m. and 8.30 p.m.
In g. 7, the prole of dry- and wet-bulb temperatures measured by Airsonde on
the 21st of June 1993 at 2.54 p.m. are shown. Under these anticyclonic conditions, the

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579

Fig. 6. Time trend of minisodar horizontal half-hourly wind proles between 6 p.m. and 12 p.m.
(local time) of the 17th of June; the up-down oriented arrows indicate northern provenience.

atmosphere was nearly neutral, with a weak inversion at about 20002200 m capping the
mixed boundary layer, whose depth was located at about 2000 m. Above this height,
the thermal gradient was roughly constant and adiabatic, indicating the presence of
convective motions. In the air layer immediately below the 2000 m inversion (from 1600
to 1900 m), dry- and wet-bulb temperature nearly coincided, indicating the presence of
some stratocumulus and fair-weather cumulus, eectively observed in that day at SPC
and whose evidence was indirectly conrmed also by the scattered values of global and
net radiation on the 21st (g. 2).
In g. 8, the prole of dry- and wet-bulb temperatures measured with the higherresolution system Tethersonde on the 17th June 1993 at 6.47 a.m. are shown. The air
layer under 200 m, moister than the upper one, was marked by a weak thermal inversion,
whose depth (200 m) was in good agreement with the experimental law of [9] and [10]:
(5)

zi = A t,

where A = 70 if t is the time (in hours) elapsed from sunset and zi the inversion layer

580

C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 7. Airsonde prole of the 21st of June at 2.54 p.m. (local time) of dry- (solid line) and
wet-bulb (crosses) temperatures, in degrees.

depth (in m). In the lower 50 m there was a second, moister and strongest inversion
layer, probably caused by the solar radiation, which favoured the dew evaporation and
the consequent cooling of air, and a weak air mixing near ground.
These two plots show an example of the quality and quantity of information that could
be inferred from such kind of proles. During the entire SPCFLUX93 eld experiment,
38 proles with Airsonde and 48 proles with Tethersonde were carried out. In the 92%
of cases Airsonde proles reached 2500 m, and Tethersonde proles reached 450 m.
.
5 3. Chemical data. Figures 9 and 10 show the time trend of SO2 , NO and NO2
atmospheric concentrations: the measured values were typical of rural site, with mean
values of 1, 2 and 8 ppb, respectively and peaks of 13 ppb for SO2 and of 26 ppb for NO
and NO2 .
The O3 concentration, reported in g. 11, showed a typical photochemical daily cycle,
with the exception of the days 23rd-25th, when the diurnal insulation was scarce, due
to the cloudiness related to the fronts. The peak-averaged values were 80 and 90 ppb

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581

Fig. 8. Tethersonde prole of the 17th of June 1993 at 6.47 a.m. (local time) of dry- (solid
line) and wet-bulb (dashed line) temperatures, in degrees.

during the overall campaign.


The deposition velocity of O3 was evaluated by means of the eddy correlation technique, applied to uctuations of the vertical wind component measured by a sonic
anemometer and the ozone concentration measured with a high-frequency analyser: the
values ranged between about 15 and 85 cm s1 .
Dry deposition was evaluated with the inferential technique [11], using meteorological
standard data and concentrations of some gaseous species. The concentrations of SO2 and
NO2 were measured with an automatic analyser, those of HNO2 , HNO3 and NH3 with
an anular denuder, while ne particulate was measured with a lter pack. Sulphur and
nitrogen dry depositions, integrated over the entire SPCFLUX93 period, were evaluated
to 26.0 and 47.5 mg m2 , respectively.
A dry-wet sampler performed the measurements of the wet deposition; the computed
values resulted 5.5 and 4.5 mg m2 , respectively. Thus, the sulphur and nitrogen total (i.e. wet plus dry) depositions during the campaign were estimated to be 31.5 and
52.0 mg/m2 , respectively.

582

C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 9. Time trend of SO2 (location I1), in ppb, during the whole campaign.

.
5 4. Ultrasonic anemometer data analysis and processing. The data of two Solent
Research sonic anemometers (manufactured by Gill Instruments Ltd) installed at 10 m
(location S1) and 25 m (S2) were processed with the SONELA (SONic anemometer data
ELAboration) model, described in [12] and [13], and more extensively in [14]. According
to this model, three consecutive rotations are imposed to the reference frame:

Fig. 10. Time trends of NO and NO2 (locations I1-I3), in ppb, during the whole campaign.

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583

Fig. 11. Time trends of O3 (location T1A), in ppb, and global radiation (location T1B), in
W m2 , during the whole campaign.

a) the x coordinate of the reference system is aligned with the mean horizontal wind
(v = 0), and the rotation angle between the mean horizontal wind direction and
the North direction is then computed;
b) the x coordinate of the reference system is aligned with the mean 3D wind vector
(w = 0), and the angle between the mean wind vector and the mean horizontal
wind velocity is then calculated;
c) a rotation around the x-axis is performed, to ensure that v  w = 0; the angle
related to this rotation is then calculated [15].
These numerical operations make the anemometer set up with its x-axis along the streamlines. They were necessary to avoid the large errors which could occur in the calculations
of turbulent uxes when the wind sensor is not perfectly vertical (misalignment problem)
or when the mean streamline is not perfectly horizontal.
The SONELA model calculated some 30 minute averaged quantities such as horizontal and vertical wind speeds, sonic temperatures, their standard deviations, wind
directions, rotation angles ( and ), and the second-, third- and fourth-order crossed
statistical moments of the uctuating quantities, including momentum, sensible, and
latent heat uxes.
The mean horizontal wind speeds measured by sonic anemometers at locations S1 and
S2 were compared with the ones measured by the slow-response anemometers (location
T2, at 10 and 30 m). The intercomparisons showed a good correlation between the two
dierent sensors, with only a little o-set lower than 0.5 ms1 . The intercomparison of
the sonic temperature Ts (dened as the temperature calculated from the sound velocity)
measured with sonic anemometer was also in good agreement with the sonic temperature
evaluated using the observed values of temperature T and humidity detected by the slow
response instruments installed in location T2 at the nearest level using the expression
(6)

Ts = T (1 + 0.51q),

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C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

even if, in this case, an evident systematic error (perhaps due to the incorrect precision
of sonic path of the instrument), which was quantied in 1.5 C, was present. Despite
its magnitude, this systematic error did not aect the turbulent ux evaluation as it was
related only to the mean temperature and not to its uctuations.
.
5 5. Turbulent heat fluxes assessment. When data of net radiation Rn and soilatmosphere conductive ux G0 (the interface heat ux between soil and atmosphere) are
available, it is possible [12] to balance the heat energy budget equation at the air-soil
interface:
(7)

Rn = H + LE + G0 ,

where H = cp w T  is the sensible heat ux, is the atmospheric pressure, cp is the


specic heat at constant pressure, LE = w q  is the latent heat ux, the latent heat
of evaporation (and/or fusion), and q the specic humidity of air. Turbulent heat uxes
can be evaluated starting from the measurements of the value w Ts , which includes the
contributions of both sensible and latent heat uxes, according to the expression
(8)

w Ts = w T  (1 + 0.51q) + 0.51T w q  .

It is dicult to obtain a reliable quantitative estimate of G0 by instruments, because


G0 is the ux at the interface between atmosphere and soil surface, two dierent mediums with dierent properties. A possible estimation could be performed by using the
observations of soil heat ux G and of soil temperature T (both measured at the same
level underground) with the formula [16]
(9)



T
G = G0 + c
z,
z

where the values for the soil heat capacity c were evaluated according to the soil type
and moisture. In SPC soil was loam, and during SPCFLUX93 experiment, soil moisture
(location T1B) was approximately constant during the experiment and equal to about
.
41% of porosity (see also subsect. 6 4).
Sensible and latent heat uxes evaluated using eqs. (7), (8) by ultrasonic anemometer
measurements were compared with the ones directly measured by the uxmeter (both
installed at S1 location). In gs. 12 and 13 the scatter diagrams of these two turbulent
heat uxes show that the uxes evaluated by the ultrasonic anemometer measurements
with SONELA model reproduced quite well the measured ones.
6. Discussion on few main interesting results
After the conclusion of the eld experiment, some analyses were carried out. The
main arguments were
to analyse the characteristics of atmospheric turbulence in the surface layer through
the examination of sonic anemometers and other fast response data;
to determine the soil moisture value according to the SPC soil type;
to validate some numerical schemes (solar radiation and soil temperature) through
the use of synoptic observation and ground-based and shelter data;

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585

Fig. 12. Scatter diagram of sensible heat uxes respectively evaluated with ultrasonic anemometer (x-axis, location S2) and SONELA model and measured by using Campbell uxmeter (y-axis,
location S1), in W m2 , during the whole campaign.

to develop and validate an algorithm to establish meaningful initial conditions for


biospheric models starting from synoptic observations;
to validate the energy budget in biospheric models;
to evaluate mixed layer depth using radon ux data;
to estimate deposition velocity using dry and wet deposition measurements.

Fig. 13. Scatter diagram of latent heat uxes respectively evaluated with ultrasonic anemometer (x-axis, location S2) and SONELA model and measured by using Campbell uxmeter (y-axis,
location S1), in W m2 , during the whole campaign.

586

C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 14. Spectra of U , V and W wind components on 16th June at 2.00 p.m. during unstable
conditions (z/L = 1.07 and u = 0.36 m/s). Lines without markers represent the energy
|(f )|2 (Su, Sv and Sw), and lines with markers the power f |(f )|2 of spectra (f Su, f Sv and
f Sw).

In the following subsections, the most interesting results will be summarised.


.
6 1. Spectra of wind velocities. Spectra of the three wind velocity components (U ,
V and W ) were generated for the whole observation period of SPCFLUX93.The spectra
showed behaviours similar to the expected ones for a at and rural region like the Po
Valley. Namely
U and V components showed similar spectra, and this result was consistent with
the observed similarity of their standard deviations;
spectra of W component were dierent from the U and V ones, both in stable and
convective conditions; the similarity between U , V and W spectra was observed only
during strong wind episodes, when turbulence was mainly mechanical;
for all wind velocity components, the peak frequencies in stable conditions were
higher (and their associated amplitudes lower) than the corresponding ones in convective
conditions;
during convective conditions, spectra of U and V components sometimes showed
two maxima: the greatest one had the lowest frequency and was related to the buoyancy,
while the smallest one, induced by the shear stress, had the highest frequency.
Nevertheless, some new peculiarities were found with respect to the spectra normally
referenced in the literature. In fact, since the Po Valley is usually characterised by
low wind conditions, stable and convective conditions were often observed, and their
intensities were greater than in the Kansas (1968) and Minnesota (1973) experiments.
In particular, the most interesting observations were:
During unstable conditions, in U and V spectra, the peak amplitudes (|(f )|2 for
the energy and f |(f )|2 for the power) in the low-frequency region were more pronounced
than the one relative to the high frequencies, which sometimes disappeared (g. 14) or

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587

Fig. 15. Same of g. 14 but at 10.00 p.m. during stable conditions (z/L = 0.52 and u =
0.16 m/s).

was masked. This phenomenon was associated to free-convection cases, where buoyancy
eects were dominant over shear stress.
In the nocturnal stable cases, turbulence spectra of all wind components exhibited
two maxima (g. 15); the lowest frequency peak was due to gravity waves, while the
highest was due to mechanical turbulence.
In extremely stable cases (with the ratio z/L > 10, where z is the quote and L the
Monin-Obukhov length), the mechanic turbulence was negligible, friction velocity was
about 102 ms1 , and small values of w were observed. In these cases, W spectra were
not signicant because the data were near the lower threshold of the sonic anemometer
range (102 m/s). Also spectra of U and V , in the high-frequency region, exhibited an
unrealistic positive slope, and only the peak due to gravity waves was evident.
.
6 2. Radiation parameterisation. The knowledge of the solar incoming radiation is
important because this is the main term, during daytime, entering in the net radiation
formulation. The correct representation of the net radiation in numerical models is
fundamental because it represents the energetic input that is partitioned into sensible and
latent turbulent heat ux, and conductive ux, according to the surface characteristics.
A check of the radiation input is then a crucial factor to test the correct behaviour of
the surface parameterisations of a numerical circulation model.
Using the information coming from the synoptic observation (location T4) relative to
the cloud cover, an algorithm (taken from [17]) calculating the solar incoming radiation
starting from the observations of high and low-middle cloudiness was checked. The
comparison with the observations showed that the proposed parameterisation [16] works
well in clear-sky conditions, while in cloudy days the calculated solar radiation was
slightly higher than the observations.
As an example, in g. 16 the time series of observed (points) and simulated (solid
line) net radiation during the whole period of SPCFLUX93 campaign are reported. The

588

C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 16. Time trends of net radiation observations carried out at location T1B (dots) and of
LSPM output (solid line), in W m2 , during the whole campaign.

agreement between data and model predictions is good, even if some little overestimates
or underestimates of maximum values at noon are present. These disagreements are
perhaps caused by errors in the interpolation of cloudiness from synoptic observations
(used to calculate the solar radiation) or by the inaccuracy of the global radiation parameterisation in cloudy days.
.
6 3. Initialisation of SVAT models. The proximity of the WMO station (locations
P4 and T4) to the SPC site allowed to test a method (described in [16] and in [18]) to
derive from synoptic observations (which are widespread) the necessary data to drive
SVAT (Soil Vegetation Atmosphere Transfer) schemes.
As known, a SVAT (Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer) scheme needs some boundary conditions: air pressure, temperature, humidity information (relative, specic, dewpoint, etc.), wind vector, precipitation, solar radiation or cloudiness.
This method was tested using the SPCFLUX93 data. The results [19,20] showed that
air temperature and relative humidity data are well reproduced, wind velocity is correctly
reproduced (at least for the daily trend), while precipitation is somehow smoothed, because synoptic data only provided the information of cumulated precipitation in the last
6 hours. From these conclusions, we can state that this methodology can be safely used
for climatological purposes.
.
6 4. Initialization of soil temperature and soil moisture in numerical models. Frequently soil parameters are required in SVAT schemes or LAMs (Limited Area Models)
in order to initialize the values at the beginning of the simulations. The soil values are
recognized as very important parameters able to aect in a substantial way the surface
turbulent heat uxes and, thus, the atmospheric stability.
However, measurements of soil temperature and moisture on a global or mesoscale
area are not available. There are some locations in which those data are measured,
but they are too sparse and sometimes not representative of the surrounding area. The
satellite images can be also used to provide the surface values of soil temperature and

A REANALYSIS OF THE ATMOSPHERIC BOUNDARY LAYER FIELD EXPERIMENT ETC.

589

moisture, but they cannot provide the values for the deepest soil layers. For a simulation
of medium-range weather forecast (710 days), the knowledge of parameters in the rst
2050 cm of soil is required.
For this reason, in the recent years, the Meteorological Services are trying to nd
some methods to infer the values of soil parameters on a global or mesoscale region.
In this subsection, two simple methods were derived for the initialization of soil temperature and moisture, respectively. These algorithms contained some empirical parameters to be determined through a calibration over the experimental site. Nevertheless, as
the equations were based on physical processes, these methods could be generalised and
used for many dierent sites.
For soil temperature, it is useful to remember that the heat conduction equation can
be written as
T
2T
= 2 ,
t
z

(10)

where T = T (z, t) is the soil temperature, z is the axis directed downward into soil and is
the soil thermal diusivity. A solution of this equation can be found under the hypothesis
of constant and with the following boundary condition at the soil-atmosphere interface:
(11)

T (0, t) = T0 + T sin(t + ),

where T0 is the average soil temperature in all soil layers during the cycle = 2/,
is the angular frequency, T is the amplitude of the thermal wave and the phase. The
solution of eq. (10) with the boundary condition (11) is
(12)



 z
z
T (z, t) = T0 + T exp
+ ,
sin t
D
D

where D is the depth of exponential decay for the temperature, and D = .


Based on eq. (12), we proposed the following empirical equation:
z
Temp (z, t) = Tair + Texc exp
sin
D


(13)


2
z

+
365 D

for the evaluation of soil temperature starting from the following data:
the air temperature Tair ;
the observed yearly excursion of mean air temperature Texc = TJuly TJanuary ;
the Julian day of the year G.
This formula was tested for SPC, using the decadal values and the following parameters:
Texc = 14 C (taken from the climatology of the site), D = 2.3 m (typical for a loamy
soil) and = 1.64 rad. Figure 17 shows the comparison among the decadal means
of the data measured at SPC from June 1993 to February 2005 (the soil temperature
and moisture sensors were left on the measurement site until end of February 2005) and
the corresponding ones evaluated using eq. (13) for the two reference levels of 5 cm and
100 cm. The temperatures evaluated with eq. (13) seemed to give a realistic estimate of
the observed soil temperature.

590

C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 17. Soil temperatures (decadal values) measured at SPC at the depths of 5 (Tobs-5 , squares)
and 100 cm (Tobs-100 , diamonds) compared with the corresponding ones evaluated by eq. (13)
(Tsoi-5 , solid line, and Tsoi-100 , dashed line) for the period June 1993-February 1995.

The square correlation coecient for the temperatures at 5 and 100 cm were 0.93
and 0.95, respectively, while the biases (observed minus evaluated) were 0.6 C and 0.2 C,
respectively.
Concerning soil moisture, in this case the propagation of moisture into soil obeys to
the following equation [21]:


q
1

(14)
=
K (z + ) ,
t
s z
z
where q is the saturation ratio, s the soil porosity, K the hydraulic conductivity, and
the moisture potential (eq. (14) do not consider the eventual input-output of water
due to evapotranspiration and precipitation). An analytical solution of eq. (14) cannot
be derived due to the strong dependence of the hydraulic conductivity and moisture
potential on soil moisture itself. Nevertheless, we must consider that
i) during normal conditions, surface soil shows larger soil moisture uctuations than
deepest soil, with a yearly cycle showing its minimum during the warmest months
(when evaporation is generally larger) and conversely its maximum during the
coldest months;
ii) deepest soil shows the lowest variations and its soil moisture content approaches
the eld capacity;
iii) excluding arid conditions, wintertime soil moisture approaches the eld capacity;
iv) on the occasion of very strong precipitation events, soil moisture can exceed temporarily the eld capacity, but when rainfall conditions ended, due to the very high
hydraulic conductivity, soil moisture rapidly decreases to the eld capacity;

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591

Fig. 18. Soil moisture (decadal values) measured at SPC at the depth of 10 cm (Qobs-10 ,
squares) compared with the corresponding one evaluated by eq. (15) (Qsoi-10 , solid line) for the
period June 1993-February 1995.

v) periods characterised by precipitations above the normal are generally also characterised by relative humidity values above the normal, and vice versa.
Based on these considerations, we postulated the following relationship:

(15)

qemp (z, t) = qfc (qfc qwi )

RHmax RHair
RHmax RHmin

 z
,
exp
D

where qemp is the empirical soil moisture (expressed in units of saturation ratio = /s ),
qfc the eld capacity, qwi the wilting point (both expressed in units of saturation ratio),
RHmin and RHmax are the air relative humidity thresholds, and RHair is the air relative
humidity. The fraction including relative humidities must range between 0 and 1.
Equation (15) was tested for SPC, using the decadal values and the following parameters: qfc = 0.761, qwi = 0.343 (typical of loamy soil), RHmin = 65%, RHmax = 90%
(taken from the climatology of the site), and D = 2.3 m (typical for a loamy soil). Figure 18 shows the comparison among the decadal means of the data measured at SPC
from June 1993 to February 2005 and the corresponding ones evaluated using eq. (15)
for the reference level of 10 cm. Generally speaking, there is a qualitatively good agreement between data predicted by eq. (15) and observations, even if some extreme values,
particularly the minimums, are sometimes not well captured by eq. (15).
The square correlation coecient was 0.82 and the bias (observed minus evaluated)
was 0.03.
.
6 5. Energy budget. Sensible, latent and ground-atmosphere heat uxes, evaluated
as explained in sect. 5, and the net radiation data measured in location T1B, were used
to validate the output of a simulation performed with the SVAT scheme LSPM (Land
Surface Process Model [22]). The assumed vegetation type was short grass. In order
to avoid the so-called spin-up problem (the climatic system can require a few months
before the initial values of the soil moisture elds are forgotten), initial values of soil
temperature and moisture were estimated using eqs. (13) and (15). It has been also
veried that these values were similar to those predicted by LSPM after a 6-months run
started on January 1st, 1993, i.e. six months before the beginning of the SPCFLUX93

592

C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 19. Time trends of sensible heat ux observations carried out at location S1 (dots) and
of LSPM output (solid line), in W m2 , during the whole campaign.

experiment (the period of 6 months was chosen because [16] demonstrated that LSPM
was able to reach its equilibrium state in this period).
The boundary conditions necessary for the LSPM run (screen-level temperature, relative humidity, wind, sea level pressure, precipitation and cloud coverage) were extracted
and arranged from the data of the close synoptic station by using the algorithm de.
scribed in subsect. 6 3. The necessary radiation input (long and short wave) for the two
models were simulated using the empirical package of LSPM, based on [17], as told in
.
subsect. 6 2.

Fig. 20. Time trends of latent heat ux observations carried out at location S1 (dots) and of
LSPM output (solid line), in W m2 , during the whole campaign.

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593

Fig. 21. Time trends of air-soil heat ux data evaluated with eq. (6) by using observations
carried out at locations S1 and T1B (dots) and of LSPM output (solid line), in W m2 , during
the whole campaign.

Figures 19 and 20 show sensible and latent heat uxes evaluated using ultrasonic
anemometer (points) and calculated by LSPM (solid line). LSPM predictions of both
heat uxes were close to the observed data in their whole range. Only few maximum
values of the latent heat ux were underestimated, particularly in concurrence with large
errors in the evaluation of net radiation or in cloudy-sky conditions (g. 17).
Figure 21 shows that the heat ux G0 at the ground-atmosphere interface evaluated
from observations using eq. (4) are in good agreement with the predictions of LSPM,
with the exception of a little overestimate during daytime around noon and the presence
of strong negative minima (calculated) at sunrise.
.
6 6. Thermal wave propagation into soil . The data referring to temperature measurements at 7 levels in the rst meter of soil allowed us to test dierent soil parameterisation
schemes. In particular, we compared two widely used soil schemes: the (5-level) multilayer scheme, used for instance in the LSPM [22], and the (3-level) force-restore scheme,
used for instance in the BATS [23]. This comparison was performed running BATS and
.
LSPM (initialised in the same way as explained in subsect. 6 4) for a 6 months simulation
(starting from 1st January 1993). Synoptic data arranged with the method described
.
in subsect. 6 3 were used as initial and boundary conditions for both models. As shown
in [16], the multilayer scheme produced a more accurate estimate of the thermal wave
propagation with respect to the results coming from the use of the classic force-restore
method.
.
6 7. Evaluation of mixed layer depth using radon flux . The vertical proles performed
with Airsonde (P2 location), Tethersonde (P3 location) and with the radiosoundings
(P4 location) were used to calculate the observed Mixed Layer Depth (MLD) during
SPCFLUX93. These data allowed to test the capability of 4 dierent methods to predict
MLD: the Holzworth method [24,25], the EPA-METPRO pre-processor [26], the GryningBatchvarova model [27] and the 222 Rn box-model [28].

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C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.

Fig. 22. Comparison of O3 deposition velocity calculated with Multi-Layer (solid line) and BigLeaf (dashed line) schemes and evaluated from eddy correlation measurements (points) during
15-23 June.

The Holzworth method predicts the MLD using the vertical temperature prole at 06
UTC (i.e. 08 a.m. in local time) and the 2 m temperature time trend. The MLD is then
evaluated as the interception of the observed morning prole and of the adiabatic lapse
rate starting from the daily 2-m temperature maximum value.
The EPA-METPRO pre-processor predicts separately the MLD for stable, neutral
and unstable conditions using the Nieuwstadt and Van Dop method [29], the Zilitinkevic
formulation [30] and the Carson model [31] modied by Weil and Brower [32], respectively.
The Gryning-Batchvarova model evaluates the MLD from the assessment of sensible
heat ux vertical prole during daytime, while a dierent formulation is used for night
time hours.
The 222 Rn box-model considers the atmosphere as a box of unit area and whose height
is the MLD. Under the following four hypotheses (the unique Rn sources and sinks are
the soil Rn ux and the radioactive decay, respectively; in the mixed layer the mixing
is uniform; the horizontal Rn advections are negligible), the MLD evolution is evaluated
on the basis of a mass-balance equation.
The comparison of the four methods with the SPCFLUX93 observations [33] showed
that the three conventional methods provided a good approximation of the observed
MLD, while the box-model underestimated the MLD, also during strongly convective
conditions.
Due to the fact that the assumption of uniform mixing in the mixed layer was not
strictly satised even if the convection was well developed (as in the case of thermal
convection), the box-model could not give a realistic estimate of the MLD. Nevertheless,
in some cases, the box-model took as a MLD the level where a discontinuity in the
temperature and humidity vertical proles is present. This model can then be useful to
infer some information related to the diusive characteristics of low atmosphere.

A REANALYSIS OF THE ATMOSPHERIC BOUNDARY LAYER FIELD EXPERIMENT ETC.

595

.
6 8. Estimate of O3 total deposition in the Po Valley. A short report is given here
on the O3 total deposition evaluation (dry, wet and fog), in the rural test site, according
to the long-term project estimation.
To quantify dry deposition, direct measurements of meteorological and chemical parameters were used to run inferential technique models [34]. Firstly, the inferential
method by using the Multi-Layer [35] and Big-Leaf [36] approaches was tested. These
models were compared against the eddy correlation technique [37] and the results during
SPCFLUX93 are displayed in g. 22.
Day-night cycle strongly aects deposition processes: the maximum values (0.5 cm/s)
were reached at noon and the minimum values during night time (0.05 cm/s). Deposition velocity from Eddy Correlation was compared with Multi-Layer (ML) and Big-Leaf
(BL) formulations. Both BL and ML models showed a good agreement, even if the BL
exhibited larger peaks during the day. These dierences could be due to the fact that ML
scheme calculates the stomatal resistance using the information based on temperature
vertical prole (for the stability) and solar radiation (for the stomata activity).
7. Conclusions
A eld experiment was carried out at San Pietro Capoume (Po Valley, Italy) during
June 1993. The location was selected as representative of the Po Valley, in order to
supply a suitable dataset with the aim to investigate the following topics: atmospheric
turbulence, dry and wet atmospheric total deposition, energy balance, thermal wave
propagation in the soil.
This paper presented a detailed discussion on instrumentation set-up, data collection
and test of their reliability in the climatic conditions of the Po Valley, in view of providing
useful observational information to the scientic community. Moreover, considering the
more recent MAP experiment, the SPCFLUX93 dataset, referring to the lee side of the
Alps, was reanalysed for allowing a comparison with the observations carried out during
MAP around the mountainous regions, in order to hopefully improve the understanding
of the perturbations on the PBLs of synoptic and mesoscale airows crossing the Alps.
The instruments installed during SPCFLUX93 eld experiment were: low-response
sensors for standard meteorological observations, fast-response sensors (ultrasonic anemometers, hygrometers and thermometers), in-situ vertical prolers (Airsonde and Tethersonde balloons), remote-sensing instruments (Mini-Sodar) and some instrumentation
used to measure physic and chemical data (dry and wet atmospheric deposition).
The database contains the mean values of all data and the instantaneous readings of
ultrasonic fast-response sensors.
The preliminary and most interesting result gathered by reanalysing SPCFLUX93
data were related to the following topics:
analysis of the characteristics of turbulence in the surface layer through the processing of ultrasonic anemometers and other fast-response data;
validation of some numerical schemes (solar radiation and soil temperature) through
the use of synoptic observation, and ground-based and shelter data;
validation of the energy budget of biospheric models;
development and validation of an algorithm for initialising biospheric models based
on synoptic observations;
evaluation of mixed layer depth using radon ux data;
estimate of deposition velocity using dry and wet deposition measurements.

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C. CASSARDO, S. FERRARESE, A. LONGHETTO, ETC.


All participants to the SPCFLUX93 eld experiments are acknowledged for the instrumental assistance, and namely Mr. D. Bertoni (Department of General Physics
of the Torino University), V. Colombo and F. Rocchetti (of the ENEL S.p.A.Environmental Area), and M. Catenacci of CESI, for the skilled assistance provided
during the executive phase of the campaign SPCFLUX93. Last but not least, Regione
Emilia Romagna and Italian Meteorological Service are acknowledged for allowing the
use of the data coming from their instrumentation, and ECMWF is acknowledged for
the use of synop observations.
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