On the Mean Flow Behaviour in the Presence of Regional-Scale Surface Roughness Heterogeneity

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A suite of large-eddy simulations of the neutral atmospheric boundary layer is conducted to study the mean flow response to the presence of surface roughness heterogeneity at regional scales (surface roughness heterogeneity on the scale of several boundary-layer heights). The roughness heterogeneity is imposed using alternating rough wall patches with numerically resolved rectangular roughness elements of different packing densities. The flow near the surface is found to adjust rapidly, reaching equilibrium conditions at distances on the order of a single inter-roughness element spacing. Despite the regional heterogeneity in surface roughness, it is often desirable to parametrize the entire rough wall using one single effective roughness height. To develop such a parametrization the model of Bou-Zeid et al. [Water Resources Research 40(2):1, 2004] is extended to incorporate the displacement height, d. Predictions from this parametrization are compared with the simulations, with reasonably good agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-143
Number of pages17
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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