Modelling turbulent boundary layer flow over fractal-like multiscale terrain using large-eddy simulations and analytical tools

X. I.A. Yang, C. Meneveau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


In recent years, there has been growing interest in large-eddy simulation (LES)modelling of atmospheric boundary layers interacting with arrays of wind turbines on complex terrain. However, such terrain typically contains geometric features and roughness elements reaching down to small scales that typically cannot be resolved numerically. Thus subgrid-scale models for the unresolved features of the bottom roughness are needed for LES. Such knowledge is also required to model the effects of the ground surface 'underneath' a wind farm. Here we adapt a dynamic approach to determine subgrid-scale roughness parametrizations and apply it for the case of rough surfaces composed of cuboidal elements with broad size distributions, containing many scales. We first investigate the flow response to ground roughness of a few scales. LES with the dynamic roughness model which accounts for the drag of unresolved roughness is shown to provide resolution-independent results for the mean velocity distribution. Moreover, we develop an analytical roughness model that accounts for the sheltering effects of large-scale on small-scale roughness elements. Taking into account the shading effect, constraints from fundamental conservation laws, and assumptions of geometric self-similarity, the analytical roughness model is shown to provide analytical predictions that agree well with roughness parameters determined from LES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2091
StatePublished - Apr 13 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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