Large-eddy simulation of radiation fog with comprehensive two-moment bulk microphysics: impact of different aerosol activation and condensation parameterizations

Schwenkel, Johannes; Maronga, Björn

In this paper we study the influence of the cloud microphysical parameterization, namely the effect of different methods for calculating the supersaturation and aerosol activation, on the structure and life cycle of radiation fog in large-eddy simulations. For this purpose we investigate a well-documented deep fog case as observed at Cabauw (the Netherlands) using high-resolution large-eddy simulations with a comprehensive bulk cloud microphysics scheme. By comparing saturation adjustment with a diagnostic and a prognostic method for calculating supersaturation (while neglecting the activation process), we find that, even though assumptions for saturation adjustment are violated, the expected overestimation of the liquid water mixing ratio is negligible. By additionally considering activation, however, our results indicate that saturation adjustment, due to approximating the underlying supersaturation, leads to a higher droplet concentration and hence significantly higher liquid water content in the fog layer, while diagnostic and prognostic methods yield comparable results. Furthermore, the effect of different droplet number concentrations is investigated, induced by using different common activation schemes. We find, in line with previous studies, a positive feedback between the droplet number concentration (as a consequence of the applied activation schemes) and strength of the fog layer (defined by its vertical extent and amount of liquid water). Furthermore, we perform an explicit analysis of the budgets of condensation, evaporation, sedimentation and advection in order to assess the height-dependent contribution of the individual processes on the development phases.

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Schwenkel, Johannes / Maronga, Björn: Large-eddy simulation of radiation fog with comprehensive two-moment bulk microphysics: impact of different aerosol activation and condensation parameterizations. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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