von Terzi, Leonie ORCID: 0000-0002-7054-4164 (2023). investigating ice microphysical processes by combining multi-frequency and polarimetric Doppler radar observations with Lagrangian Monte-Carlo particle modelling. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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Clouds and precipitation strongly impact society and the earth system by influencing the water cycle, determining fresh water availability or causing natural disasters such as floods or droughts. However, many aspects of precipitation formation are still poorly understood, causing large uncertainties in the prediction of precipitation. Especially the microphysical processes, which describe the nucleation of cloud particle and their growth into precipitation lack understanding. As globally 63% of precipitation originates from the ice phase, increasing the understanding of ice microphysical processes is crucial to improve precipitation forecast. The dendritic growth layer (DGL), located at temperatures between −20 and −10 ° C, plays an important role in the formation of precipitation. Previous studies have found an in particle size and number concentration through depositional growth, aggregation and secondary ice processes. This dissertation investigates ice microphysical processes in the DGL by combining polarimetric and multi-frequency Doppler cloud radar observations with Monte-Carlo Lagrangian particle modelling. Study I presents a statistical analysis of a three-month polarimetric and multi-frequency Doppler radar dataset. This combination of radar measurements allows to observe the full evolution of ice particle growth, as the polarimetric measurements are indicators of depositional growth and possible secondary ice processes, while the multi-frequency approach gives an indication of the increase particle in size through aggregation and riming. The statistical analysis revealed an increase of aggregate size at −15 ° C. The mean size of aggregates is found to be correlated to an updraft with a maximum of approximately 0.1 m s −1 at −14 ° C. The radar observations further indicate the growth of plate-like ice crystals at −15 ° C. Unexpectedly, aggregation is found to increase in the DGL alongside an increase in ice particle number concentration. This simultaneous increase necessitates a source of new ice particles, as aggregation is expected to decrease the total number of ice particles. Secondary ice processes, such as collisional fragmentation provide one explanation for this increase in ice particle size. Another possible explanation might be that small ice particles sediment from colder temperatures into the DGL and enhance the number concentration locally. The third explanation is linked to the observed updraft, as this updraft might increase the super-saturation with respect to ice at −15 ° C, leading to the activation of ice nucleating particles and a subsequent increase in ice particle number and growth of plate-like particles. Unfortunately, radar observations do not observe the formation of particles directly, it is difficult to predict the origin of the particles responsible for the increase in particle concentration and observed polarimetric signatures further. With the observational dataset as a constrain, Study II uses the Monte-Carlo Lagrangian particle model McSnow to investigate the origin of the increase in ice particle number concentration in the DGL further. The comparison of the observations and McSnow simulations indicate that the particles responsible for the polarimetric signatures and increase in number concentration need to be nucleated at temperatures close to −15 ° C. This might indicate that in the observed clouds, sedimenting ice particles into the DGL play a lesser role. The McSnow simulations further indicate that neither collisional fragmentation nor new ice particles due to activation of ice nucleating particles can explain the observed multi-frequency and polarimetric observations. A combination of both processes might explain the observed signatures. This dissertation shows the potential of a combination of radar observations and modelling for increasing the understanding of microphysical processes in clouds. However, further laboratory studies are needed in order to further constrain the processes in the DGL and validate the findings of this dissertation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Translated abstract:
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
von Terzi, Leoniel.terzi@lmu.deorcid.org/0000-0002-7054-4164UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-716753
Date: 2023
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences > Department of Geosciences > Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology
Subjects: Earth sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Ice microphysicsEnglish
Radar observationsEnglish
Monte-Carlo particle modellingEnglish
Date of oral exam: 2022
NameAcademic Title
Kneifel, StefanDr. rer nat
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/71675


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