A study is made of the effects of stable stratification on the fine-scale features of the flow in an evolving stable boundary layer (SBL). Large-eddy simulation (LES) techniques are used so that spatially and temporally varying and intermittent features of the turbulence can be resolved; traditional Reynolds-averaging approaches are not well suited to this. The LES model employs a subgrid turbulence model that allows upscale energy transfer (backscatter) and incorporates the effects of buoyancy.
The afternoon, evening transition, and nighttime periods are simulated. Highly anisotropic turbulence is found in the developed SBL, with occasional periods of enhanced turbulence. Energy backscatter occurs in a fashion similar to that found in DNS, and is an important capability in LES of the SBL. Coherent structures are dominant in the SBL, as the damping of turbulent energy occurs more at the smaller, less organized scales.