, Volume 50, Issue 1-4, pp 205-225

Response of neutral boundary layers to changes of roughness

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When air blows across a change in surface roughness, an internal boundary layer (IBL) develops within which the wind adapts to the new surface. This process is well described for short fetches, > 1 km. However, few data exist for large fetches on how the IBL grows to become a new equilibrium boundary layer where again the drag laws can be used to estimate the surface wind.

To study this problem, data have been sampled for two years from four 30-m meteorological masts placed from 0 to 30 km inland from the North Sea coast of Jutland in Denmark. The present analysis is limited to neutral stratification, and the surface roughness is the main parameter. The analysis of wind data and two simple models, a surface layer and a planetary boundary layer (PBL) model, are described.

Results from both models are discussed and compared with data analysis. Model parameters have been evaluated and the model sensitivity to those parameters has been investigated. Using the model parameters, a large-scale roughness length has been estimated.