Internal Boundary-Layer Height Formulae — A Comparison with Atmospheric Data

  • John L. Walmsley


The height of the internal boundary layer (IBL) downwind of a step change in surface roughness is computed using formulae of Elliott (1958), Jackson (1976) and Panofsky and Dutton (1984). The results are compared with neutral-stratification atmospheric data extracted from the set of wind-tunnel and atmospheric data summarized by Jackson (1976) as well as neutral-stratification data presented by Peterson et al. (1979) and new data measured at Cherrywood, Ontario. It is found that the Panofsky-Dutton formulation gives the least root-mean-square (RMS) absolute errors for atmospheric applications.


Turbulent Boundary Layer Roughness Length Wind Profile Atmospheric Data Internal Boundary Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Angle, R. P.: 1973, M.Sc. thesis, Dept. of Geography, Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton.Google Scholar
  2. Antonia, R. A. and Luxton, R. E.: 1971a, ‘The Response of a Turbulent Boundary Layer to an Upstanding Change in Surface Roughness’, Trans. ASME J. Basic Engineering 93, 22–34.Google Scholar
  3. Antonia, R. A. and Luxton, R. E.: 1971b, ‘The Response of a Turbulent Boundary Layer to a Step Change in Surface Roughness. Part 1. Smooth to Rough’, J. Fluid Mech. 48, 721–761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Antonia, R. A. and Luxton, R. E.: 1972, ‘The Response of a Turbulent Boundary Layer to a Step Change in Surface Roughness. Part 2. Rough to Smooth’, J. Fluid Mech. 53, 737–757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blackadar, A. K., Panofsky, H. A., Glass, P. E., and Boogaard, J. F.: 1967, ‘Determination of the Effect of Roughness Change on the Wind Profile’, Phys. Fluids Suppl. Boundary Layers and Turbulence, pp. S209–S211.Google Scholar
  6. Bradley, E. F.: 1968, ‘A Micrometeorological Study of Velocity Profiles and Surface Drag in the Region Modified by a Change in Surface Roughness’, Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 94, 361–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Businger, J. A.: 1988, ‘Some Effects of Change of Terrain, Mesoscale Divergence, and Entrainment on the Structure of the Surface Layer and Its Consequences for Dry Deposition’, in H. van Dop (ed.), Air Pollution Modeling and Its Application, VI, Plenum, New York, pp. 3–13.Google Scholar
  8. Elliott, W. P.: 1958, ‘The Growth of the Atmospheric Internal Boundary Layer’, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union 39, 1048–1054.Google Scholar
  9. Jackson, N. A.: 1976, ‘The Propagation of Modified Flow Downstream of a Change in Roughness’, Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 102, 924–933.Google Scholar
  10. Kutzbach, J. E.: 1961, ‘Investigations of the Modification of Wind Profiles by Artificially Controlled Surface Roughness’, Univ. Wisconsin Dept. of Meteorol. Annual Rep., pp. 71–113.Google Scholar
  11. Miyake, M.: 1965, ‘Transformation of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Over Inhomogeneous Surfaces’, Sci. Rep. 5R-6, Univ. of Washington, Seattle.Google Scholar
  12. Panofsky, H. A. and Dutton, J. A.: 1984, Atmospheric Turbulence: Models and Methods for Engineering Applications, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 397 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Peterson, E. W., Jensen, N. O. and Hojstrup, J.: 1979, ‘Observations of Downwind Development of Wind Speed and Variance Profiles at Bognaes and Comparison with Theory’, Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 105, 521–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Plate, E. J. and Hidy, G. M.: 1967, ‘Laboratory Study of Air Flowing Over a Smooth Surface onto Small Water Waves’, J. Geophys. Res. 72, 4627–4641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Yeh, F. F. and Nickerson, E. C.: 1970, ‘Air Flow Over Roughness Discontinuity’, Project Themis Tech. Rep. No. 8, Colorado State University, Fort Collins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John L. Walmsley
    • 1
  1. 1.Atmospheric Environment ServiceDownsviewCanada

Personalised recommendations