Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 130, Issue 2, pp 275–300 | Cite as

Attenuation of Scalar Fluxes Measured with Spatially-displaced Sensors

  • T. W. HorstEmail author
  • D. H. Lenschow
Original Paper


Observations from the Horizontal Array Turbulence Study (HATS) field program are used to examine the attenuation of measured scalar fluxes caused by spatial separation between the vertical velocity and scalar sensors. The HATS data show that flux attenuation for streamwise, crosswind, and vertical sensor displacements are each a function of a dimensionless, stability-dependent parameter n m multiplied by the ratio of sensor displacement to measurement height. The scalar flux decays more rapidly with crosswind displacements than for streamwise displacements and decays more rapidly for stable stratification than for unstable stratification. The cospectral flux attenuation model of Kristensen et al. agrees well with the HATS data for streamwise sensor displacements, although it is necessary to include a neglected quadrature spectrum term to explain the observation that flux attenuation is often less with the scalar sensor downwind of the anemometer than for the opposite configuration. A simpler exponential decay model provides good estimates for crosswind sensor displacements, as well as for streamwise sensor displacements with stable stratification. A model similar to that of Lee and Black correctly predicts flux attenuation for a combination of streamwise and crosswind displacements, i.e. as a function of wind direction relative to the sensor displacement. The HATS data for vertical sensor displacements extend the near-neutral results of Kristensen et al. to diabatic stratification and confirm their finding that flux attenuation is less with the scalar sensor located below the anemometer than if the scalar sensor is displaced an equal distance either horizontally or above the anemometer.


Flux attenuation Flux sensor separation Scalar flux measurement Spatial turbulence structure Taylor’s hypothesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA

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