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Some Aspects of the Fine Structure of Elevated Layers in the Troposphere


  • J. A. Lane


This paper summarizes a series of measurements, with a balloon-borne, spaced-cavity refractometer, of the fine structure layers of large variance in refractivity. The measured height variation of the intensity of small-scale fluctuations often shows clear evidence of some degree of stratification, even in nonanticyclonic conditions, with local parcels within which the value of ((ΔN)2)/l may reach 10−11 meter−1, where l is the scale size in the parcel. The results of forward-scatter and beam-swinging experiments must therefore be interpreted with due regard for this inhomogeneity. Furthermore, the spectral characteristics of refractivity in the region of scale layers vary widely in space and time. The value of Richardson's number across the layer is generally appreciably greater than 1, the exponent in the one-dimensional spectrum is usually —2 to —2.5, and the spectra often tend to converge at wave numbers of 10–100 meters−1.

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