Multifractal Analysis of Large Eddy Simulations of Marine Stratocumulus

Friday, 19 December 2014: 11:35 AM
Colleen M. Kaul1, Kyle G Pressel1 and Joao Teixeira2, (1)ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, (2)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
Multifractal analysis of observations of marine stratocumulus clouds has been used in the past to characterize the structure of cloud liquid and drizzle fields in terms of two parameters quantifying their levels of smoothness and intermittency. These smoothness and intermittency parameters indicate clear structural differences in cloud liquid and drizzle fields but show similar values for observations made in different regions, suggesting that their values are driven by fundamental physical processes of these clouds acting across a wide range of scales. While large eddy simulations are able to resolve turbulent motions at scales between several meters to several kilometers, the effects of larger and smaller scales can only be indirectly represented. In addition, microphysical processes must also be modeled. Here we investigate the extent to which multifractal parameters computed from large eddy simulation data agree with those obtained from observations, providing insight into how well large eddy simulations represent fundamental aspects of stratocumulus structure despite these limitations.