Mixed-layer capping inversion

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mixed-layer capping inversion

The statically stable layer of air at the top of the atmospheric boundary layer.

Because the troposphere is statically stable on the average (i.e., potential temperature increases with height), and because turbulence in the boundary layer causes potential temperatures to become somewhat well mixed there, conservation of heat requires that there be a potential temperature increase (i.e., a temperature step or inversion) at the top of the boundary layer. It is this inversion that separates the boundary layer from the rest of the troposphere by limiting the domain of turbulence. It is also responsible for trapping pollutants near the ground during fair weather.

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