Simplification and Validation of a Spectral-Tensor Model for Turbulence Including Atmospheric Stability

Abhijit Chougule*, Jakob Mann, Mark C. Kelly, Gunner Chr. Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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A spectral-tensor model of non-neutral, atmospheric-boundary-layer turbulence is evaluated using Eulerian statistics from single-point measurements of the wind speed and temperature at heights up to 100 m, assuming constant vertical gradients of mean wind speed and temperature. The model has been previously described in terms of the dissipation rate epsilon, the length scale of energy-containing eddies L, a turbulence anisotropy parameter Gamma, the Richardson number Ri, and the normalized rate of destruction of temperature variance eta(theta) equivalent to epsilon(theta)/epsilon. Here, the latter two parameters are collapsed into a single atmospheric stability parameter z/L usingMonin-Obukhov similarity theory, where z is the height above the Earth's surface, and L is the Obukhov length corresponding to {Ri ,eta(theta)}. Model outputs of the one-dimensional velocity spectra, as well as cospectra of the streamwise and/or vertical velocity components, and/or temperature, and cross-spectra for the spatial separation of all three velocity components and temperature, are compared with measurements. As a function of the four model parameters, spectra and cospectra are reproduced quite well, but horizontal temperature fluxes are slightly underestimated in stable conditions. In moderately unstable stratification, our model reproduces spectra only up to a scale similar to 1 km. The model also overestimates coherences for vertical separations, but is less severe in unstable than in stable cases.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)371-397
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Atmospheric stability
  • Atmospheric turbulence
  • Boundary layer
  • Spectra
  • Spectral tensor

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