Simulations of flow interactions near Los Alamos

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The Pajarito Plateau is located on the eastern flank of the Jemez Mountains and the west side of the Rio Grande Valley, in north-central New Mexico, where the river runs roughly north to south. On the Pajarito Plateau, a network of surface meteorological stations has been routinely maintained by Los Alamos National Laboratory. This network includes five instrumented towers, within an approximately 10 km by 15 km area. The towers stand from 23 m to 92 m tall, with multiple wind measurement heights. Investigation of the station records indicates that the wind fields can be quite complicated and may be ... continued below

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Costigan, K. R. (Keeley R.); Winterkamp, Judy; Bossert, J. E. (James E.) & Langley, D. L. (David L.) January 1, 2002.

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The Pajarito Plateau is located on the eastern flank of the Jemez Mountains and the west side of the Rio Grande Valley, in north-central New Mexico, where the river runs roughly north to south. On the Pajarito Plateau, a network of surface meteorological stations has been routinely maintained by Los Alamos National Laboratory. This network includes five instrumented towers, within an approximately 10 km by 15 km area. The towers stand from 23 m to 92 m tall, with multiple wind measurement heights. Investigation of the station records indicates that the wind fields can be quite complicated and may be the result of interactions of thermally and/or dynamically driven flows of many scales. Slope flows are often found on the plateau during the morning and evening transition times, but it is not unusual to find wind directions that are inconsistent with slope flows at some or all of the stations. It has been speculated that valley circulations, as well as synoptically driven winds, interact with the slope flows, but the mesonet measurements alone, with no measurements in the remainder of the valley, were not sufficient to investigate this hypothesis. Thus, during October of 1995, supplemental meteorological instrumentation was placed in the Rio Grande basin to study the complex interaction of flows in the area. A sodar was added near the 92 m tower and a radar wind profiler was placed in the Rio Grande Valley, just east of the plateau and near the river. Measurements were also added at the top of Pajarito Mountain, just west of the plateau, and across the valley, to the east, on top of Tesuque Peak (in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains). Two surface stations were also added to the north-facing slopes of Pajarito Mountain. This paper will present observations from October 1995 and results of simulations of this area that are used in the study of the complex interaction of dynamically and thermally driven flows on multiple scales.

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  • Submitted to: Annual Science Team meeting of the Vertical Transport and Mixing program, Salt Lake City, UT, 17 - 19 September 2002

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-02-5859
  • Grant Number: none
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 976349
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928703

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  • January 1, 2002

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 4:49 p.m.

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Costigan, K. R. (Keeley R.); Winterkamp, Judy; Bossert, J. E. (James E.) & Langley, D. L. (David L.). Simulations of flow interactions near Los Alamos, article, January 1, 2002; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928703/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.