Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 237–257 | Cite as

Organized structures in developing turbulent flow within and above a plant canopy, using a Large Eddy Simulation

  • Manabu Kanda
  • Mikio Hino


A Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model representing the air flow within and above a plant canopy layer has been completed. Using this model, the organized structures of turbulent flow in the early developmental stages of a crop are simulated and discussed in detail.

The effect of the drag due to vegetation is expressed by a term added to the three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equation averaged over the grid scale. For the formulation of sub-grid turbulence processes, the equations for the time-dependent SGS (Sub-Grid-Scale) turbulence energy equation is used, which includes the effects of dissipation (both by viscosity and leaf drag), shear production and diffusion.

The organized structure of turbulent flow at the air-plant interface, obtained numerically by the model, yields its contribution to momentum transfer. The three-dimensional large eddy structures, which are composed of spanwise vortices (‘rolls’) and streamwise vortices (‘ribs’), are simulated near the air-plant interface. They are induced by the shear instability at inflection points of the velocity profile. The structure clearly has a life cycle. The instantaneous image of the structure is similar to those observed in the field observations of Gaoet al. (1989) and in the laboratory flume experiments of Ikeda and Ota (1992). These organized structures also account for the well known fact that the sweep motion of turbulence dominates momentum transport within and just above a plant canopy, and the motion of ejection prevails in the higher regions.


Vortex Large Eddy Simulation Plant Canopy Streamwise Vortex Canopy Layer 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manabu Kanda
    • 1
  • Mikio Hino
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil Environmental EngineeringYamanashi UniversityKofuJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Policy StudiesChyu-o UniversityHachi-o-jiJapan

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