Atmospheric Boundary Layer Research - past activities

STABLE - The Stable Antarctic Boundary Layer Experiment

During the Antarctic winter of 1986, BAS ran a comprehensive programme of boundary layer and turbulence measurements at Halley research station . Halley is situated on an extensive flat ice shelf and the strong surface inversions that form in winter provide an ideal environment for studying the stably-stratified boundary layer.

The instrumentation installed included three Kaijo-Denki ultrasonic anemometers on a 32 m mast for turbulence measurements, together with conventional anemometers and resistance thermometers for profile measurements. A Sensitron sodar provided some information on boundary layer structure at higher levels and daily radiosonde profiles are available. A dataset of hourly mean fluxes and profiles is available for the period of the experiment - contact J.C. King for details.


King,JC (1990): Some measurements of turbulence over an antarctic ice shelf. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc. 116, 379-400.

King,JC; Anderson,PS (1988): Installation and performance of the STABLE instrumentation at Halley. BAS Bull. 79, 65-77.

King,JC; Mobbs,SD; Darby,MS; Rees,JM (1987): Observations of an internal gravity wave in the lower troposphere at Halley, Antarctica. Bound.-Layer Meteorol. 39, 1-13.

King,JC; Mobbs,SD; Rees,JM; Anderson,PS; Culf,AD (1989): The stable Antarctic Boundary Layer Experiment at Halley Station. Weather 44, 398-405.

Rees,JM; Mobbs,SD (1988): Studies of internal gravity waves at Halley Base, Antarctica using wind observations. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc. 114, 939-966.


In order to answer some of the questions raised by STABLE, a second experiment was run at Halley during the Antarctic winter of 1991. The instrumentation was similar to that used during STABLE but was augmented by:

i) An array of six microbarographs for studying the propagation of internal gravity waves

ii) Instruments for measuring water vapour fluxes and humidity profiles

iii) A set of particle counters for measuring blowing snow density and flux

Data from this experiment are still being analysed, but major results published so far include:

Anderson,PS; Mobbs,SD; King,JC; McConnell,I; Rees,JM (1992): A microbarograph for internal gravity wave studies in Antarctica. Antarctic Sci. 4, 241-248.

Anderson,PS; Dover,SE; Mobbs,SD; King,JC; Rees,JM (1993): Studies of blowing snow at Halley, Antarctica. In: Preprints, 4th international conference on Southern Hemisphere meteorology and oceanography. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 444-445.

King,JC; Anderson,PS (1994): Heat and water vapour fluxes and scalar roughness lengths over an Antarctic ice shelf. Bound.-Layer Meteorol. 69, 101-121.

King,JC; Anderson,PS; Smith,MC; Mobbs,SD (1996): The surface energy and mass balance at Halley, Antarctica during winter. J. Geophys. Res. 101, 19119-19128.

Uranus Glacier Mass and Energy Balance Experiment

During 1992 and 1993, two automatic weather stations equipped for surface mass and energy balanc emeasurements were operated on the Uranus Glacier, Alexander Island, as part of a European Community funded project to study surface mass balance in the Antarctic Peninsula. These data are still being analysed - contact P.S. Anderson for details.

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