Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 1–26 | Cite as




In the atmospheric surface layer, it is widely accepted that ejection andsweep eddy motions, typically associated with coherent structures, areresponsible for much of the land-surface evaporation, sensible heat, andmomentum fluxes. The present study analyzes the ejection-sweep propertiesusing velocity and scalar fluctuation measurements over tall natural grassand bare soil surfaces. It is shown that momentum ejections and sweeps occurat equal frequencies (D eject ≈ D sweep ≈ 0.29) irrespective of surfaceroughness length or atmospheric stability conditions. Also, their magnitudesare comparable to values reported from open channel velocity measurements (Dsweep ≈ 0.33; D eject ≈: 0.30). The scalar D eject is constant andsimilar in magnitude to the momentum D eject( ≈ 0.29) over both surfacesand for a wide range of atmospheric stability conditions, in contrast to thescalar D sweep. The scalar sweep frequency is shown to depend on the scalarskewness for the dynamic convective and free convective sublayers, but isidentical to D eject for the dynamic sublayer. The threshold scalar skewnessat which the D sweep dependence occurs is 0.25, in agreement with theaccepted temperature skewness value at near-neutral conditions. In contrastto a previous surface-layer experiment, this investigation demonstrates thatthe third-order cumulant expansion method (CEM) reproduces the measuredrelative flux contribution of ejections and sweeps (ΔS0) for momentumand scalars at both sites. Furthermore, a linkage between ΔS0 and thescalar variance budget is derived via the third-order CEM in analogy tomomentum. It is shown that ΔS0 can be related to the flux divergenceterm and that such a relationship can be estimated from surface-layersimilarity theory, and the three sublayer model of Kader and Yaglom andproposed similarity functions.


Sweep Frequency Atmospheric Surface Layer Scalar Flux Eddy Motion Flux Contribution 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

    • 1
    • 2
    • 1
    • 3
    • 1
  1. 1.School of the EnvironmentDuke UniversityDurhamU.S.A
  2. 2.Center for Hydrologic SciencesDuke UniversityDurhamU.S.A
  3. 3.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaU.S.A

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