Turbulent pressure statistics in the atmospheric boundary layer from large-eddy simulation

Natasha L. Miles, John C. Wyngaard, Martin J. Otte

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10 Scopus citations


We use large-eddy simulation (LES) to study the turbulent pressure field in atmospheric boundary layers with free convection, forced convection, and stable stratification. We use the Poisson equation for pressure to represent the pressure field as the sum of mean-shear, turbulence-turbulence, subfilter-scale, Coriolis, and buoyancy contributions. We isolate these contributions and study them separately. We find that in the energy-containing range in the free-convection case the turbulence-turbulence pressure dominates over the entire boundary layer. That part dominates also up to midlayer in the forced-convection case; above that the mean-shear pressure dominates. In the stable case the mean-shear pressure dominates over the entire boundary layer. We find evidence of an inertial subrange in the pressure spectrum in the free and forced-convection cases; it is dominated by the turbulence-turbulence pressure and has a three-dimensional spectral constant of about 4.0. This agrees well with quasi-Gaussian predictions but is a factor of 2 less than recent results from direct numerical simulations at moderate Reynolds numbers. Measurements of the inertial subrange pressure spectral constant at high Reynolds numbers, which might now be possible, would be most useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-185
Number of pages25
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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