Structure functions and structure parameters of velocity fluctuations in numerically simulated atmospheric convective boundary layer flows


We extend our previous study, which dealt with structure functions of potential temperature fluctuations, and focus on the characteristics of second-order velocity structure functions and corresponding structure parameters in the atmospheric convective boundary layer. We consider the three previously reported methods to compute the structure parameters of turbulent velocity fields: the direct method, the true spectral method, and the approximate spectral method. The methods are evaluated using high-resolution gridded numerical data from large-eddy simulations of shear-free and shear-driven convective boundary layers. Results indicate that the direct and true spectral methods are more suitable than the approximate spectral method, which overestimates the structure parameters of velocity due to assuming the inertial-subrange shape of the velocity spectrum for all turbulence scales. Results also suggest that structure parameters of vertical velocity fluctuations are of limited utility due to violations of local isotropy, especially in shear-free convective boundary layers.

Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences