The literature includes a wide variety of definitions or perceptions of non-stationarity. Non-stationarity can be expressed in terms of turbulence statistics or variability of the forcing of the turbulence such as time changes of the wind vector, the horizontal pressure gradient, or the surface heat flux. Our survey emphasizes the development of non-equilibrium turbulence caused by non-stationary forcing. The degree of non-equilibrium of the turbulence is most reliably evaluated following the local flow rather than using the more available fixed-point measurements. We survey methods to eliminate non-stationary records or partially filter out the non-stationarity. We also summarize issues with parametrization of the non-stationarity. Non-stationarity over the sea can be complex due to time-dependent wave state and surface roughness. The impact of non-stationarity is generally less understood in the stable boundary layer compared to the unstable boundary layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


  • Equilibrium turbulence
  • Non-stationarity
  • Spectral gap
  • Submeso
  • Turbulence adjustment

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