Flow and pollution transport during Wagerup 2006: A case study

Charles Retallack, Ronald Calhoun, H. J S Fernando, Ken Rayner, Anthony Stuart, John Sutton, Mark F. Hibberd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


As part of a broader field campaign dubbed Wagerup 2006, a case study was carried out to determine the overnight pollution transport mechanisms and flow characteristics near Wagerup, Western Australia. The ambient conditions were characterized by stable stratification with little synoptic influence in the lower boundary layer. An elevated jet intrusion originating on a nearby escarpment slope was found to induce sufficient mixing causing elevated pollution plumes to reach ground level. Onset of mixing was accurately predicted by non-linear critical Richardson number estimates obtained in previous laboratory work. The increase in ground level temperatures brought about by shear induced mixing later prompted a sea-breeze like gravity current that was completely blocked by the escarpment and as a result pollutants were trapped against the escarpment slope. A notable side effect of the topographic blocking was the subsequent steady 360° rotation of ground level winds within an area of influence described by the Rossby deformation radius.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalMeteorological Applications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Doppler lidar
  • Pollution transport
  • Shear induced mixing
  • Stratified flow
  • Topographic influences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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