Rotational augmentation of horizontal axis wind turbine blade aerodynamics currently remains incompletely characterized and understood. To address this, the present study concurrently analysed experimental measurements and computational predictions, both of which were unique and of high quality. Experimental measurements consisted of surface pressure data statistics used to infer sectional boundary layer state and to quantify normal force levels. Computed predictions included high-resolution boundary layer topologies and detailed above-surface flow field structures. This synergy was exploited to reliably identify and track pertinent features in the rotating blade boundary layer topology as they evolved in response to varying wind speed. Subsequently, boundary layer state was linked to above-surface flow field structure and used to deduce mechanisms; underlying augmented aerodynamic force production during rotating conditions. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.