Observations made in a well-developed, thermally stratified, horizontal, flat- plate boundary layer are used to study the effects of buoyancy on the mean flow and turbulence structure. These are represented in a similarity framework obtained from the concept of local equilibrium in a fully developed turbulent flow. Mean velocity and temperature profiles in both the inner and outer layers are strongly dependent on the thermal stratification, the former suggesting an increase in the thickness of the viscous sublayer with increasing stability. The coefficients of skin friction and heat transfer, on the other hand, decrease with increasing stability.
Normalized turbulent intensities, fluxes and their correlation coefficients also vary with buoyancy. In stable conditions, turbulence becomes rapidly suppressed with increasing stability as more and more energy has to be expended in over- coming buoyancy forces. The buoyancy effects are found to be more dominant in the stress budget than in the turbulent energy budget. The horizontal heat flux is much greater than the vertical heat flux and their ratio increases with stability. The ratio of the eddy diffusivities of heat and momentum, on the other hand, decreases with increasing stability. The spectra of velocity and temperature fluctuations indicate no buoyancy subrange, but the wavenumber corresponding to peak energy is found to increase with increasing stability.