Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 247–265

A Fine-Scale k−ε Model for Atmospheric Flow over Heterogeneous Landscapes



A multi-purpose model for small-scale atmospheric flows over heterogeneous landscapes is being developed. The aim of this research is to build a tool able to predict the dynamical (wind, turbulence) and diffusive (gases, particles) fields over landscapes characterised by heterogeneous plant cover. In its present stage of development the model is based on the numerical integration of neutral atmospheric flow equations, using an energy-dissipation closure scheme and over a domain that may include vegetation layers. Three validation cases of the model are presented: (i) response of the airflow to a change in surface roughness; (ii) airflow within and above a horizontally homogeneous plant canopy; (iii) airflow over two complex forest-to-clearing and clearing-to-forest transitions. All simulations provide results in good agreement with the experimental data, except for turbulent kinetic energy just after a clearing-to-forest transition. This result is not surprising for a statistical k−ε model in a flow region characterised by strong distorsion and intermittent turbulence. However the overall good performance of the model is promising for environmental research at fine scales over heterogeneous landscapes.


atmospheric flow discontinuity k−ε turbulence model landscape numerical simulation plant canopy roughness change 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unité Ephyse, INRAVillenave d’OrnonFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire MASTER-ENSCPBPessacFrance

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