Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Rosa M. Fitzgerald


Vaisala ceilometers (models CL 31 and Cl 51) were used to monitor and study the planetary boundary layer (PBL). There were four ceilometer stations that we connected to create the Paso del Norte ceilometer network. These stations are located at: UTEP, Socorro, Ivanhoe, and Juarez. This network has been automatized and its hourly averaged mean boundary layer height data is being downloaded into a computer accessible to TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) and to the public. In this study, data from each ceilometer was used to produce scatter plots. These scatter plots were analyzed to obtain the PBL heights for each of the four stations. The PBL heights were then intercompared under different atmospheric conditions. Four different cases were chosen for this research: clear, cloudy, virga, and dusty. Throughout these cases we concluded that the PBL was easy to detect when the day was clear since in the scatter plot there were no clouds or precipitation, therefore the aerosol backscatter was very straightforward. On the other hand, on a cloudy day the detection of the PBL was difficult given the presence of a greater number and different types of atmospheric scatters, and it can be confused with the altitude of the PBL. However, over a virga event the PBL was not that hard to detect but it did affect its rising during the day.




Recieved from ProQuest

File Size

57 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Vianey Arvilla

Included in

Physics Commons