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Diurnal cycle of Titan’s planetary boundary layer with Large Eddy Simulations and mtWRF

Presentation #204.02 in the session Titan II: Atmospheres (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Diurnal cycle of Titan’s planetary boundary layer with Large Eddy Simulations and mtWRF

Titan, Saturn’s largest satellite, has nothing to envy of the planets: it is known to host rich and dynamic meteorology, where its planetary boundary layer (PBL) is important for the exchanges of momentum, heat, chemical species and aerosols between the surface and the atmosphere. The evolution of the PBL is also relevant to the Dragonfly mission atmospheric entry and flight operations. We present the first simulated diurnal cycles of the PBL of Titan with the mtWRF model configured as a Large Eddy Simulation (LES). The simulations use a gray radiative scheme with scattering and are initialized with the Huygens (HASI) profiles and data from global simulations. The results show some similarities with the general circulation model results reported by Charnay and Lebonnois (2012) identifying distinct layers in the lowest few kilometers of atmosphere. The importance of a carefully selected grid spacing in the and domain size in the LES is shown to strongly influence the results, including the vertical structure of the lower atmosphere. The results are further presented in the context of related, prior work that all show some level of disagreement or discrepancies. Our results with an optimally selected domain size and grid spacing show a boundary layer that extends up to 3 km with discontinuous sections at 300 m (superficial layer) to 900m (mixed layer) and 2500m (drag zone).

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