The threshold wind speed is a useful criterion in determining whether strong turbulence is generated within the Stable Boundary Layer (SBL), the layer where all surface emissions remain confined during the night. Confidence turbulence estimates are extremely important for atmospheric transport and dispersion simulations, although due to its complex dinamics many aspects of the SBL are neglected by numerical models that, in turn, are the inputs and boundary conditions for the transport and dispersion simulations. Turbulence is especially important during severe episodies like hazardous material accidental releases, for example. Turbulence intensity can affect the dispersion speed, released material concentration, and its reach. For many decades, remote sensing has been an important tool in filling the gap of information and providing advances in the atmospheric sciences. The doppler lidar is increasingly being used for micrometeoroly and Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) studies because of its autonomy and long range capability, in contrast with traditional techniques as radioprobes and captive balloons. After 1 year of continuous measurements with a doppler lidar, it was possible to determine the threshold wind speed for Ipero, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Besides threshold wind speed, it was observed that the SBL turbulence has a straight relationship with the Low-Level Jets (LLJs) that frequently occur over the region. The vertical turbulence distribution depends greatly on the LLJ characteristics, which in turn is highly variable during its life cycle. The strong turbulence regime is associated to the stronger LLJs, that presents a more defined pattern. In contrast, weak LLJs (that generate weaker SBL turbulence) present more dispersive characteristics in respect to the entire dataset. These differences are seen both for the LLJ height as for the turbulence vertical profile. These results will contribute for the atmospheric modeling and dispersion simulations, as well for the environmental studies at Ipero.
A doppler wind lidar was employed to investigate the features of the Low-Level Jet (LLJ) at Ipero, Sao Paulo State, Brazil. The Ipero Municipality already host a nuclear facility for uranium enrichment and a new plant, a nuclear reactor, is planned to be built there. The nuclear activities require a good understanding of atmospheric dispersion, as for normal operation conditions as for accidental emissions. The LLJ is a natural phenomenon that may occur within the Planetary Boundary Layer and plays an important role for the atmospheric dispersion. Knowing the LLJ characteristics is essential to evaluate the performances of the weather forecast models that are used as input for the atmospheric dispersion models. The field campaign results showed that the LLJs occur with high frequency at Ipero and that the Stable Boundary Layer (SBL) is shallow, which in turn is unfavored for pollutant dilution because all surface emissions remain confined within the SBL. The 2 weather forecast models evaluated didn´t reproduce the LLJ, despite their high horizontal resolution. The numerical models also underestimated the wind speed. Both the LLJ and the wind speed are key parameters for dispersion simulations. As the weather forecast models diverge of the observational data, they must be better parameterized for provide reliable simulations before being adopted as input for any atmospheric dispersion models. The field campaign (planned to extend for 1 year) data are essential for the parameterization of the numerical models.
Two Doppler lidars were recently used to collect data from the planetary boundary layer (PBL) in Sao Paulo city (23°32’S, 46°38’W). The measurement campaign was carried out from December-2015 to February-2016, during the summer, which is the rainy season. Although Sao Paulo is the main city of a huge metropolitan region with more than 11 million of inhabitants and 7 millions of vehicles, according to the government agencies, the lack of PBL observational data is still a limitation for the atmospheric dispersion studies. Therefore, this work should contribute to the comprehension of PBL mechanisms and also for future atmospheric modeling studies. The data revealed that the nocturnal low-level jets (LLJs) frequently occurred along those 3 months, but its height is highly variable, from 100 m up to 650 m. It was also seen that the nocturnal LLJs can extend for several hours, right before the sunset until sunrise. This work aims to investigate the turbulence production by the nocturnal LLJs and its influence into the stable boundary layer (SBL).