Description of the course

The goal is that the student after this course will have developed a deepened understanding of the fundamental aspects of the turbulent atmospheric planetary boundary layer (PBL) and its effects on the atmosphere and its circulation and on the surface.

We will discuss the different turbulent and mean characteristics of the PBL under various conditions, such as different static stability and wind shear. We will also discuss the effects on the vertical transport and surface exchange of momentum, heat and gases and hence on the rest of the atmosphere and on the Earth's surface. The course includes both theory and turbulence modeling as well as a review of techniques and analysis methods for boundary-layer observations.

How is the course organized?

During this course we will meet a total of 11 times and the key word for these meetings is “informal discussion”. At each meeting we'll start in the morning with a discussion of a select set of papers on a topic that was introduced at the latest meeting. For this discussion to be useful, students are expected to have read these papers in good time before the meeting and must submit questions for discussion and/or clarification at the meeting; at least one question or topic for each student. After a break for lunch there will be an informal introductory lecture for the next meeting, taking ~1.5 hours including a short break for a leg-stretcher; the lecture will be delivered by one of the teachers. This cycle is then repeated for newly introduced topics next time and so on, except for the first time and last times. At the first time there will only be the (intro) lecture and the last time there is only the paper discussion. Both sessions, before and after lunch, are very informal and the discussions together are the most essential, part of the course; open up and you will learn!


Together with an active participation in the discussions, two practical exercises constitute the examination of the course. The first exercise focus on analysis of field observations of turbulence and the boundary-layer while the second exercise focus on boundary-layer modeling.


Start 3 February 10-12 (week 5), then every Wednesday 10-14 (incl lunch) until 21 April.

Course Literature

Course literature will be the "Introduction to Boundary-Layer Meteorology" by Roland Stull as background reading while the emphasis is on original scientific papers.

Responsible teacher - contact

Gunilla Svensson