Volume 387, 15 November 2022, 115167

Research Paper
Venus boundary layer dynamics: Eolian transport and convective vortex

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2022.115167Get rights and content
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First study of the Venus boundary layer with radiative and large-scale wind advection processes.

Strong impact of the diurnal cycle and the topography on the convective layer.

Noon surface winds strong enough to lift dust and engender micro-dunes.

First convective vortices resolved in the Venus boundary layer.


Few spacecraft have studied the dynamics of Venus’ deep atmosphere, which is needed to understand the interactions between the surface and atmosphere. Recent global simulations suggest a strong effect of the diurnal cycle of surface winds on the depth of the planetary boundary layer. We propose to use a turbulent-resolving model to characterize the Venus boundary layer and the impact of surface winds for the first time. Simulations were performed in the low plain and high terrain at the Equator and noon and midnight. A strong diurnal cycle is resolved in the high terrain, with a convective layer reaching 7 km above the local surface and vertical wind of 1.3 m/s. The boundary layer depth in the low plain is consistent with the observed wavelength of the dune fields. At noon, the resolved surface wind field for both locations is strong enough to lift dust particles and engender micro-dunes. Convective vortices are resolved for the first time on Venus.


Planetary boundary layer
Large-Eddy Simulation
Convective vortex
Eolian transport

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