Boundary Layer Meteorology

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Boundary Layer Meteorology

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Summary module description:
    This module aims to provide the student with an understanding of how small-scale processes affect the thermodynamic and kinematic structures of the atmospheric boundary layer.

    This module aims to provide the student with an understanding of how small-scale processes affect the thermodynamic and kinematic structures of the atmospheric boundary layer. Practical work aims to illustrate methods of measurement and interpretation of transfer processes within the surface and boundary layer.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    By the end of the module, the student should be able to:

    Analyse and interpret data retrieved from field observations of turbulent, - radiant and conductive exchange processes.
    Describe in physical and mathematical terms some important atmospheric flow phenomena on horizontal scales less than about 10km, and the way in which these are influenced by the Earth's surface and its overlying atmosphere.

    Additional outcomes:
    The practical (including field) work will enhance team-working skills, and the use of spreadsheet or programs for the analysis of observational data.

    Outline content:
    The Practical Content covers

    Statistical analysis of turbulent wind fluctuations
    Latent, sensible heat and carbon dioxide transfer by the eddy-covariance method
    Momentum measurements by the profile and eddy covariance method
    Estimating surface energy exchanges by the Penman Monteith method

    The Lecture Content covers the conceptual and mathematical modelling of:

    Surface layer fluxes and their measurement
    Evolution of the boundary layer
    Turbulence in the boundary layer
    Flow over a changing surface
    Flow over hills
    Flow over vegetation canopies
    The urban boundary layer

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    During term 7 theoretical work will be presented in 16 50-minute lectures. Four tutorial sessions will be used also.
    During term 8 practical work takes place. Experimental work is supported by comprehensive notes and lectures, scheduled according to prevailing weather conditions.

    Summative Assessment Methods:

    Written exam 50%
    Report 50%

    Other information on summative assessment:
    1 short observational report - 10%, 1 long observational report - 20%, 1 presentation plus abstract 5%+5%, 1 advanced assignment 10%

    Formative assessment methods:
    Four unassessed problem sheets discussed in the tutorial sessions.

    Penalties for late submission:
    The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
    where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
    where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

    The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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