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Mesoscale circulations over complex terrain in the Valencia coastal region, Spain, Part 1: simulation of diurnal circulation regimes

by G. Pérez-Landa, P. Ciais, M. J. Sanz, B. Gioli, F. Miglietta, J. L. Palau, G. Gangoiti, M. M. Millán
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions ()
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We collected ground-based and aircraft data on meteorological parameters and CO2 fluxes and concentrations during a 2-week intensive campaign over the Valencia basin, as part of a process study to understand how mesoscale circulations over complex terrain develop and affect the atmospheric transport acting on surface CO2 fluxes. In this paper, we interpret the meteorological data during a selected case, with the help of a very high resolution mesoscale model to understand the diurnal cycle of mesoscale flow regimes, characterized by night-time katabatic drainage, morning sea-breeze development and subsequent coupling with mountain up-slopes, and evening flow-veering under larger-scale influences. At each step, a careful statistical analysis of the model performances is carried out. Despite the inherent complexity of the processes interacting with each other, and large model uncertainties for soil moisture boundary conditions and turbulence parameterizations, we show that it is possible to simulate faithfully the flow regimes, especially the inland progression and organization of the sea breeze. This provides confidence with respect to the future applicability of mesoscale models to establish a missing link between surface sources of CO2 and atmospheric concentration signals over complex terrain.

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