Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 43-69

First online:

Seasonal and diurnal variations of coherent structures over a deciduous forest

  • Cheng-Hsuan LuAffiliated withAtmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York
  • , David R. FitzjarraldAffiliated withAtmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York

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Coherent structures in turbulent flow above a midlatitude deciduous forest are identified using a wavelet analysis technique. Coupling between motions above the canopy (z/h=1.5, whereh is canopy height) and within the canopy (z/h=0.6) are studied using composite velocity and temperature fields constructed from 85 hours of data. Data are classified into winter and summer cases, for both convective and stable conditions. Vertical velocity fluctuations are in phase at both observation levels. Horizontal motions associated with the structures within the canopy lead those above the canopy, and linear analysis indicates that the horizontal motions deep in the canopy should lead the vertical motions by 90°. On average, coherent structures are responsible for only about 40% of overall turbulent heat and momentum fluxes, much less than previously reported. However, our large data set reveals that this flux fraction comes from a wide distribution that includes much higher fractions in its upper extremes. The separation distanceL s between adjacent coherent structures, 6–10h, is comparable to that obtained in previous observations over short canopies and in the laboratory. Changes in separation between the summer and winter (leafless) conditions are consistent withL s being determined by a local horizontal wind shear scale.