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On the Parameterization of Surface Roughness at Regional Scales

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  • 1 School of Architecture, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, and Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, and Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • | 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
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Abstract

A parameterization for surface roughness and blending height at regional scales, under neutral atmospheric stability, is studied and tested. The analysis is based on a suite of large-eddy simulations (LES) over surfaces with varying roughness height and multiple variability scales. The LES are based on the scale-dependent Lagrangian dynamic subgrid-scale model, and the surface roughnesses at the ground are imposed using the rough-wall logarithmic law. Several patterns of roughness distribution are considered, including random tiling of patches with a wide distribution of length scales. An integral length scale, based on the one-dimensional structure function of the spatially variable roughness height, is used to define the characteristic surface variability scale, which is a critical input in many regional parameterization schemes. Properties of the simulated flow are discussed with special emphasis on the turbulence properties over patches of unequal roughness. The simulations are then used to assess a generalized form of the parameterization for the blending height and the equivalent surface roughness at regional scales that has been developed earlier for regular patterns of surface roughness (regular stripes). The results are also compared with other parameterizations proposed in the literature. Good agreement is found between the simulations and the regional-scale parameterization for the surface roughness and the blending height when this parameterization is combined with the characteristic surface variability scale proposed in this paper.

Corresponding author address: Elie Bou-Zeid, School of Architecture, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EFLUM, GR A0 412, station 2, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland. Email: eliebz@jhu.edu

Abstract

A parameterization for surface roughness and blending height at regional scales, under neutral atmospheric stability, is studied and tested. The analysis is based on a suite of large-eddy simulations (LES) over surfaces with varying roughness height and multiple variability scales. The LES are based on the scale-dependent Lagrangian dynamic subgrid-scale model, and the surface roughnesses at the ground are imposed using the rough-wall logarithmic law. Several patterns of roughness distribution are considered, including random tiling of patches with a wide distribution of length scales. An integral length scale, based on the one-dimensional structure function of the spatially variable roughness height, is used to define the characteristic surface variability scale, which is a critical input in many regional parameterization schemes. Properties of the simulated flow are discussed with special emphasis on the turbulence properties over patches of unequal roughness. The simulations are then used to assess a generalized form of the parameterization for the blending height and the equivalent surface roughness at regional scales that has been developed earlier for regular patterns of surface roughness (regular stripes). The results are also compared with other parameterizations proposed in the literature. Good agreement is found between the simulations and the regional-scale parameterization for the surface roughness and the blending height when this parameterization is combined with the characteristic surface variability scale proposed in this paper.

Corresponding author address: Elie Bou-Zeid, School of Architecture, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EFLUM, GR A0 412, station 2, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland. Email: eliebz@jhu.edu

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