Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 169, Issue 3, pp 429–460 | Cite as

Velocity Spectra and Coherence Estimates in the Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer

  • Etienne CheynetEmail author
  • Jasna B. Jakobsen
  • Joachim Reuder
Research Article


Two years of continuous sonic anemometer measurements conducted in 2007 and 2008 at the FINO1 platform are used to investigate the characteristics of the single- and two-point velocity spectra in relation to the atmospheric stability in the marine atmospheric boundary layer. The goals are to reveal the limits of current turbulence models for the estimation of wind loads on offshore structures, and to propose a refined description of turbulence at altitudes where Monin–Obukhov similarity theory may be limited. Using local similarity theory, a composite spectrum model, combining a pointed and a blunt model, is proposed to describe the turbulence spectrum for unstable, neutral and stable conditions. Such a model captures the \(-1\) power law followed by the velocity spectra at an intermediate frequency range in the marine atmospheric boundary layer. For the Monin–Obukhov similarity parameter \(\zeta < 0.3\), the Davenport coherence model captures the vertical coherence of the horizontal velocity components well. A two-parameter exponential decay function is found more appropriate for modelling the coherence of the vertical velocity component. Under increasingly stable conditions, the size of the eddies in the vertical coordinate reduces, such that smaller separation distances than that covered in the present dataset may be required to study the coherence with sufficient accuracy.


Atmospheric stability Coherence Marine atmospheric boundary layer Turbulence Velocity spectrum 



The FINO1 platform is one of three offshore platforms of the FINO Project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The present work was developed as a research collaboration within the Norwegian Centre for Offshore Wind Energy (NORCOWE, Project number: 193821 supported by the Research Council Norway). Finally, we thank UL DEWI (Wilhelmshaven, Germany) for providing the sonic anemometer data.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Structural Engineering and Materials ScienceUniversity of StavangerStavangerNorway
  2. 2.Geophysical InstituteUniversity of Bergen, and Bjerknes Centre for Climate ReserachBergenNorway

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