Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 51–63

Vertical Structure of Selected Turbulence Characteristics above an Urban Canopy

  • C. Feigenwinter
  • R. Vogt
  • E. Parlow

DOI: 10.1007/s007040050074

Cite this article as:
Feigenwinter, C., Vogt, R. & Parlow, E. Theor Appl Climatol (1999) 62: 51. doi:10.1007/s007040050074

Summary

In this paper the results of an urban measurement campaign are presented. The experiment took place from July 1995 to February 1996 in Basel, Switzerland. A total of more than 2000 undisturbed 30-minute runs of simultaneous measurements of the fluctuations of the wind vector u′, v′, w′ and the sonic temperature θs′ at three different heights (z=36, 50 and 76 m a.g.l.) are analysed with respect to the integral statistics and their spectral behaviour. Estimates of the zero plane displacement height d calculated by the temperature variance method yield a value of 22 m for the two lower levels, which corresponds to 0.92 h (the mean height of the roughness elements). At all three measurement heights the dimensionless standard deviation σw/u* is systematically smaller than the Monin-Obukhov similarity function for the inertial sublayer, however, deviations are smaller compared to other urban turbulence studies. The σθ* values follow the inertial sublayer prediction very close for the two lowest levels, while at the uppermost level significant deviations are observed. Profiles of normalized velocity and temperature variances show a clear dependence on stability. The profile of friction velocity u* is similar to the profiles reported in other urban studies with a maximum around z/h=2.1. Spectral characteristics of the wind components in general show a clear dependence on stability and dimensionless measurement height z/h with a shift of the spectral peak to lower frequencies as thermal stability changes from stable to unstable conditions and as z/h decreases. Velocity spectra follow the −2/3 slope in the inertial subrange region and the ratios of spectral energy densities Sw(f)/Su(f) approach the value of 4/3 required for local isotropy in the inertial subrange. Velocity spectra and spectral peaks fit best to the well established surface layer spectra from Kaimal et al. (1972) at the uppermost level at z/h=3.2.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Feigenwinter
    • 1
  • R. Vogt
    • 1
  • E. Parlow
    • 1
  1. 1.MCR Lab, Department of Geography, University of Basel, Basel, SwitzerlandCH