Turbulent diffusion and turbulent thermal diffusion of aerosols in stratified atmospheric flows Academic Article uri icon


  • The paper analyzes the phenomenon of turbulent thermal diffusion in the Earth atmosphere, its relation to the turbulent diffusion, and its potential impact on aerosol distribution. This phenomenon was predicted theoretically more than 10 years ago and detected recently in the laboratory experiments. This effect causes a nondiffusive flux of aerosols in the direction of the heat flux and results in formation of long-living aerosol layers in the vicinity of temperature inversions. We applied the theory of turbulent thermal diffusion to the Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars (GOMOS) aerosol observations near the tropopause in order to explain the shape of aerosol vertical profiles with elevated concentrations located almost symmetrically with respect to temperature profile. We demonstrate that this theory is in good agreement with the observed profiles of aerosol …

publication date

  • September 27, 2009