, Volume 140, Issue 3, pp 429-451
Date: 12 May 2011

Vertical and Horizontal Transport of Energy and Matter by Coherent Motions in a Tall Spruce Canopy

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In the framework of the EGER (ExchanGE processes in mountainous Regions) project, the contribution of coherent structures to vertical and horizontal transports in a tall spruce canopy is investigated. The combination of measurements done in both the vertical and horizontal directions allows us to investigate coherent structures, their temporal scales, their role in flux transport, vertical coupling between the sub-canopy, canopy and air above the canopy, and horizontal coupling in the sub-canopy layer. The temporal scales of coherent structures detected with the horizontally distributed systems in the sub-canopy layer are larger than the temporal scales of coherent structures detected with the vertically distributed systems. The flux contribution of coherent structures to the momentum and sensible heat transport is found to be dominant in the canopy layer. Carbon dioxide and latent heat transport by coherent structures increase with height and reach a maximum at the canopy height. The flux contribution of the ejection decreases with increasing height and becomes dominant above the canopy level. The flux fraction transported during the sweep increases with height and becomes the dominant exchange process at the upper canopy level. The determined exchange regimes indicate consistent decoupling between the sub-canopy, canopy and air above the canopy during evening, nighttime and morning hours, whereas the coupled states and coupled by sweep states between layers are observed mostly during the daytime. Furthermore, the horizontal transport of sensible heat by coherent structures is investigated, and the heterogeneity of the contribution of coherent events to the flux transport is demonstrated. A scheme to determine the horizontal coupling by coherent structures in the sub-canopy layer is proposed, and it is shown that the sub-canopy layer is horizontally coupled mainly in the wind direction. The vertical coupling in most cases is observed together with streamwise horizontal coupling, whereas the cross-stream direction is decoupled.