Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 231–245

An eddy correlation technique with extended applicability to non-simple terrain


  • Robert T. McMillen
    • Air Resources Laboratory, Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion DivisionNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Research Laboratories

DOI: 10.1007/BF00128405

Cite this article as:
McMillen, R.T. Boundary-Layer Meteorol (1988) 43: 231. doi:10.1007/BF00128405


A system is described which is intended to calculate vertical fluxes of heat, moisture, momentum, and certain atmospheric pollutants at sites that are less than ideal. Fluxes, along with other turbulence statistics, are computed in real-time and printed at the end of each averaging period. The main elements of the program are (1) ‘detrending’ (by use of running mean removal), (2) calculation of the entire stress tensor (which allows a three-dimensional coordinate rotation to be performed on the covariances), (3) software-adjustable timing delays for each instrument channel, and (4) real-time graphic presentation of the raw data as stripchart images. The first two of these program elements tend to relax the normal site and sensor-leveling requirements. Sample results are presented, and the sensitivities of the calculated quantities to coordinate rotation and to mean removal time are examined for both ideal and non-ideal sites.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988