Development of a Two-Dimensional Finite-Element PBL Model and Two Preliminary Model Applications

L. P. Chang Departments of Earth Sciences and Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames 50011

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E. S. Takle Departments of Earth Sciences and Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames 50011

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R. L. Sani Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309

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Abstract

We have developed a two-dimensional finite-element model for simulating atmospheric flow in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) of the earth. The finite-element method provides a useful alternative to the conventional finite-difference method in studying Bow phenomena that involve graded meshes and (or) irregular computational domains. It also provides a more natural way of incorporating Dirichlet-type boundary conditions. These properties make the finite-element method especially suitable for studying PBL flows. With the Deardorff-O'Brien turbulence scheme, the model was able to generate reasonable results in the simulations of a neutral PBL wind profile and a sea-breeze circulation.

Abstract

We have developed a two-dimensional finite-element model for simulating atmospheric flow in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) of the earth. The finite-element method provides a useful alternative to the conventional finite-difference method in studying Bow phenomena that involve graded meshes and (or) irregular computational domains. It also provides a more natural way of incorporating Dirichlet-type boundary conditions. These properties make the finite-element method especially suitable for studying PBL flows. With the Deardorff-O'Brien turbulence scheme, the model was able to generate reasonable results in the simulations of a neutral PBL wind profile and a sea-breeze circulation.

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