Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 391–409

Influence of foliar density and thermal stability on profiles of Reynolds stress and turbulence intensity in a deciduous forest


  • R. H. Shaw
    • Department of Land, Air and Water ResourcesUniversity of California
  • G. Den Hartog
    • Atmospheric Environment Service
  • H. H. Neumann
    • Atmospheric Environment Service

DOI: 10.1007/BF00124010

Cite this article as:
Shaw, R.H., Den Hartog, G. & Neumann, H.H. Boundary-Layer Meteorol (1988) 45: 391. doi:10.1007/BF00124010


Observations were made of turbulence in an extensive deciduous forest on level terrain using a vertical array of seven three-dimensional sonic anemometer/thermometers within and above the canopy. Data were collected through the period of leaf fall and over a range of thermal stabilities. A bulk canopy drag coefficient was nearly independent of the density of the forest but decreased greatly with the onset of nocturnal stability. The depth of penetration of momentum into the forest increased with leaf fall but, again, was greatly curtailed by stable conditions. Turbulent velocities decreased with increasing depth in the forest but relative turbulence intensities increased to mid-canopy levels. Leaf density influenced turbulence levels but not as strongly as did thermal stability. Thermal effects were adequately described by the single parameter h/L, where h is the canopy height and L is the Monin-Obukhov length. The longitudinal and vertical velocity correlation coefficient was larger in magnitude than expected in the upper layers of the forest but decreased to a small value in the lowest layers where the Reynolds stress was small. The ratio Σw/u*, where u* is the local friction velocity, reflected changes in the uw correlation, becoming smaller than usual in the upper canopy layers. It is believed that these effects result from the intermittent, spatially coherent structures that are responsible for a large fraction of the momentum flux to the forest.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988