Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 119, Issue 3, pp 431-447

First online:

50 Years of the Monin–Obukhov Similarity Theory

  • Thomas FokenAffiliated withDepartment of Micrometeorology, University of Bayreuth Email author 

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This historical survey shows that Obukhov’s 1946 fundamental paper on a universal length scale for exchange processes in the surface layer was the basis for the derivation of the similarity theory by Monin and Obukhov in 1954. A brief overview of the experiments and findings used to formulate the universal functions in the presently used form is given. Finally, the current status of the theory is described, covering topics such as the accuracy of the universal functions and the turbulent Prandtl number.


Eddy covariance History of micrometeorology Monin–Obukhov similarity theory Obukhov length Surface layer Universal function