Geography Publications


BUBBLE – an Urban Boundary Layer Meteorology Project

Document Type


Publication Date



Theoretical and Applied Climatology





First Page


Last Page


URL with Digital Object Identifier


The Basel UrBan Boundary Layer Experiment (BUBBLE) was a year-long experimental effort to investigate in detail the boundary layer structure in the City of Basel, Switzerland. At several sites over different surface types (urban, sub-urban and rural reference) towers up to at least twice the main obstacle height provided turbulence observations at many levels. In addition, a Wind Profiler and a Lidar near the city center were profiling the entire lower troposphere. During an intensive observation period (IOP) of one month duration, several sub-studies on street canyon energetics and satellite ground truth, as well as on urban turbulence and profiling (sodar, RASS, tethered balloon) were performed. Also tracer experiments with near-roof-level release and sampling were performed. In parallel to the experimental activities within BUBBLE, a meso-scale numerical atmospheric model, which contains a surface exchange parameterization, especially designed for urban areas was evaluated and further developed. Finally, the area of the full-scale tracer experiment which also contains several sites of other special projects during the IOP (street canyon energetics, satellite ground truth) is modeled using a very detailed physical scale-model in a wind tunnel. In the present paper details of all these activities are presented together with first results.