Spatial variability of turbulent fluxes in the roughness sublayer of an even-aged pine forest

Boundary-Layer Meteorology
By: , and 



The spatial variability of turbulent flow statistics in the roughness sublayer (RSL) of a uniform even-aged 14 m (= h) tall loblolly pine forest was investigated experimentally. Using seven existing walkup towers at this stand, high frequency velocity, temperature, water vapour and carbon dioxide concentrations were measured at 15.5 m above the ground surface from October 6 to 10 in 1997. These seven towers were separated by at least 100m from each other. The objective of this study was to examine whether single tower turbulence statistics measurements represent the flow properties of RSL turbulence above a uniform even-aged managed loblolly pine forest as a best-case scenario for natural forested ecosystems. From the intensive space-time series measurements, it was demonstrated that standard deviations of longitudinal and vertical velocities (σu, σw) and temperature (σT) are more planar homogeneous than their vertical flux of momentum (u*2) and sensible heat (H) counterparts. Also, the measured H is more horizontally homogeneous when compared to fluxes of other scalar entities such as CO2and water vapour. While the spatial variability in fluxes was significant (>15 %), this unique data set confirmed that single tower measurements represent the ‘canonical’ structure of single-point RSL turbulence statistics, especially flux-variance relationships. Implications to extending the ‘moving-equilibrium’ hypothesis for RSL flows are discussed. The spatial variability in all RSL flow variables was not constant in time and varied strongly with spatially averaged friction velocity u*, especially when u* was small. It is shown that flow properties derived from two-point temporal statistics such as correlation functions are more sensitive to local variability in leaf area density when compared to single point flow statistics. Specifically, that the local relationship between the reciprocal of the vertical velocity integral time scale (Iw) and the arrival frequency of organized structures (ū/h) predicted from a mixing-layer theory exhibited dependence on the local leaf area index. The broader implications of these findings to the measurement and modelling of RSL flows are also discussed.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Spatial variability of turbulent fluxes in the roughness sublayer of an even-aged pine forest
Series title Boundary-Layer Meteorology
DOI 10.1023/A:1002079602069
Volume 93
Issue 1
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 28 p.
First page 1
Last page 28
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