Understanding Physical Processes Represented by the Monin–Obukhov Bulk Formula for Momentum Transfer

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2020-07-18
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Sun, Jielun
Takle, Eugene
Takle, Eugene
Acevedo, Otávio
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Agronomy
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Agronomy
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Physical processes represented by the Monin–Obukhov bulk formula for momentum are investigated with field observations. We discuss important differences between turbulent mixing by the most energetic non-local, large, coherent turbulence eddies and local turbulent mixing as traditionally represented by K-theory (analog to molecular diffusion), especially in consideration of developing surface-layer stratification. The study indicates that the neutral state in a horizontally homogeneous surface layer described in the Monin–Obukhov bulk formula represents a special neutrality regardless of wind speed, for example, the surface layer with no surface heating/cooling. Under this situation, the Monin–Obukhov bulk formula agrees well with observations for heights to at least 30 m. As the surface layer is stratified, stably or unstably, the neutral state is achieved by mechanically generated turbulent mixing through the most energetic non-local coherent eddies. The observed neutral relationship between u∗" role="presentation" style="box-sizing: inherit; display: inline; line-height: normal; word-spacing: normal; overflow-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; border: 0px; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; position: relative;">u∗u∗ (the square root of the momentum flux magnitude) and wind speed V at any height is different from that described by the Monin–Obukhov formula except within several metres of the surface. The deviation of the Monin–Obukhov neutral u∗−V" role="presentation" style="box-sizing: inherit; display: inline; line-height: normal; word-spacing: normal; overflow-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; border: 0px; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; position: relative;">u∗−Vu∗−V linear relation from the observed one increases with height and contributes to the deteriorating performance of the bulk formula with increasing height, which cannot be compensated by stability functions. Based on these analyses, estimation of drag coefficients is discussed as well.

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This article is published as Sun, J., Takle, E.S. & Acevedo, O.C. Understanding Physical Processes Represented by the Monin–Obukhov Bulk Formula for Momentum Transfer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol (2020). doi: 10.1007/s10546-020-00546-5.

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