Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 172, Issue 1, pp 81–106 | Cite as

The Share of the Mean Turbulent Kinetic Energy in the Near-Neutral Surface Layer for High and Low Wind Speeds

  • M. SchiavonEmail author
  • F. Tampieri
  • F. C. Bosveld
  • M. Mazzola
  • S. Trini Castelli
  • A. P. Viola
  • C. Yagüe
Research Article


We examine the dependence on wind speed of the share of the mean turbulent kinetic energy among the three velocity components in the near-neutral surface layer. To contrast the general behaviour and the local effects, four datasets are considered, corresponding to different surfaces and environmental conditions. For high wind speeds (i.e., wind speed \(\approx {10}\,{\hbox {ms}^{-1}}\)), the shares are well-defined and about the same for all sites. As wind speed decreases (becoming \(\approx {1}\,{\hbox { ms}^{-1}}\)), large record-to-record variability occurs giving, on average, an almost isotropic state for the horizontal velocity components. Through spectral analysis, we relate this behaviour to the low-frequency, submeso motions and to the lack of conditions required by Reynolds averaging. The implications for modelling are also discussed, showing that the wind speed, or a related quantity, must be accounted for, besides stability, in second-order closures.


Dissipation rate Low wind speed Submeso motions Turbulent kinetic energy Velocity spectra 



Thanks are due to: the SABLES98 team, Prof. J.L. Casanova (Director of CIBA), and Dr. J. Peláez (for his technical support); the Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), in particular Dr. T. Choi, that provided CSAT3 CCT sonic data. CY has been funded by the Spanish Government, under MINECO projects CGL2015-65627-C3-3-R (MINECO/FEDER) and CGL2016-81828-REDT.

Supplementary material

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniveristy of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate - ISAC-CNRBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Royal Netherlands Meteorological InstituteDe BiltThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate - ISAC-CNRTurinItaly
  5. 5.Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate - ISAC-CNRRomeItaly
  6. 6.Dpt. Física de la Tierra y Astrofísica, Facultad de CC. FísicasUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

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