Inner Structure of Atmospheric Inversion Layers over Haifa Bay in the Eastern Mediterranean

N. Haikin*, E. Galanti, T. G. Reisin, Y. Mahrer, P. Alpert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Capping inversions act as barriers to the vertical diffusion of pollutants, occasionally leading to significant low-level air pollution episodes in the lower troposphere. Here, we conducted two summer campaigns where global positioning system radiosondes were operated in Haifa Bay on the eastern Mediterranean coast, a region of steep terrain with significant pollution. The campaigns provided unique high resolution measurements related to capping inversions. It was found that the classical definition of a capping inversion was insufficient for an explicit identification of a layer; hence additional criteria are required for a complete spatial analysis of inversion evolution. Based on the vertical temperature derivative, an inner fine structure of inversion layers was explored, and was then used to track inversion layers spatially and to investigate their evolution. The exploration of the inner structure of inversion layers revealed five major patterns: symmetric peak, asymmetric peak, double peak, flat peak, and the zig-zag pattern. We found that the symmetric peak is related to the strongest inversions, double peak inversions tended to break apart into two layers, and the zig-zag pattern was related to the weakest inversions. Employing this classification is suggested for assistance in following the evolution of inversion layers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-487
Number of pages17
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 6 Sep 2015


  • Capping inversion
  • Inner structure
  • Inversion
  • Radiosonde


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