How Does the Choice of the Lower Boundary Conditions in Large-Eddy Simulations Affect the Development of Dispersive Fluxes Near the Surface?

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Wanner, L.; De Roo, F.; Sühring, M.; Mauder, M.: How Does the Choice of the Lower Boundary Conditions in Large-Eddy Simulations Affect the Development of Dispersive Fluxes Near the Surface?. In: Boundary layer meteorology : an international journal of physical, chemical and biological processes in the atmospheric boundary layer 182 (2022), Nr. 1, S. 1-27. DOI:

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Large-eddy simulations (LES) are an important tool for investigating the longstanding energy-balance-closure problem, as they provide continuous, spatially-distributed information about turbulent flow at a high temporal resolution. Former LES studies reproduced an energy-balance gap similar to the observations in the field typically amounting to 10–30% for heights on the order of 100 m in convective boundary layers even above homogeneous surfaces. The underestimation is caused by dispersive fluxes associated with large-scale turbulent organized structures that are not captured by single-tower measurements. However, the gap typically vanishes near the surface, i.e. at typical eddy-covariance measurement heights below 20 m, contrary to the findings from field measurements. In this study, we aim to find a LES set-up that can represent the correct magnitude of the energy-balance gap close to the surface. Therefore, we use a nested two-way coupled LES, with a fine grid that allows us to resolve fluxes and atmospheric structures at typical eddy-covariance measurement heights of 20 m. Under different stability regimes we compare three different options for lower boundary conditions featuring grassland and forest surfaces, i.e. (1) prescribed surface fluxes, (2) a land-surface model, and (3) a land-surface model in combination with a resolved canopy. We show that the use of prescribed surface fluxes and a land-surface model yields similar dispersive heat fluxes that are very small near the vegetation top for both grassland and forest surfaces. However, with the resolved forest canopy, dispersive heat fluxes are clearly larger, which we explain by a clear impact of the resolved canopy on the relationship between variance and flux–variance similarity functions. © 2021, The Author(s).
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: Article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2021
Appears in Collections:Fakultät für Mathematik und Physik

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