Large-eddy simulations of flow over a “horizontally” uniform model forest are used to investigate the effects of gentle topography on the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budget within the canopy roughness sublayer. Despite significant differences between simulations using idealized sinusoidal topography and real topography of the Amazon forest, results indicate that the effects of topography are located predominantly in the upper canopy and above, and are mostly caused by mean advection of TKE. The “horizontally” averaged TKE budget from idealized and real gentle topographies are almost identical to that for flat terrain, including a clear inertial layer above the roughness sublayer in which shear production is balanced by local dissipation. At topography crests, where observational towers are usually located, mean vertical advection of TKE can be as important as horizontal advection. We propose the use on an approximate TKE balance equation to estimate mean advection from single tower measurements, and introduce a new advection index that can be used as a proxy to quantify the importance of the topography on the TKE budget.
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