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Laboratory simulations of the atmospheric mixed-layer in flow over complex topography
Perry, S. AND W. Snyder. Laboratory simulations of the atmospheric mixed-layer in flow over complex topography. PHYSICS OF FLUIDS. Physics of Fluids, 29(2):020702, (2017).
The National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) Computational Exposure Division (CED) develops and evaluates data, decision-support tools, and models to be applied to media-specific or receptor-specific problem areas. CED uses modeling-based approaches to characterize exposures, evaluate fate and transport, and support environmental diagnostics/forensics with input from multiple data sources. It also develops media- and receptor-specific models, process models, and decision support tools for use both within and outside of EPA.
A laboratory study of the influence of complex terrain on the interface between a well-mixed boundary layer and an elevated stratified layer was conducted in the towing-tank facility of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The height of the mixed layer in the daytime boundary layer can have a strong influence on the concentration of pollutants within this layer. Deflections of streamlines at the height of the interface are primarily a function of hill Froude number (Fr), the ratio of mixed-layer height (zi) to terrain height (h), and the crosswind dimension of the terrain. The magnitude of the deflections increases as Fr increases and zi / h decreases. For mixing-height streamlines that are initially below the terrain top, the response is linear with Fr; for those initially above the terrain feature the response to Fr is more complex. Once Fr exceeds about 2, the terrain related response of the mixed layer interface decreases somewhat with increasing Fr (toward more neutral flow). Deflections are also shown to increase as the crosswind dimensions of the terrain increases. Comparisons with numerical modeling, limited field data and other laboratory measurements reported in the literature are favorable. Additionally, visual observations of dye streamers suggests that the flow structure exhibited for our elevated inversions passing over three dimensional hills is similar to that reported in the literature for continuously stratified flow over two-dimensional hills.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
COMPUTATIONAL EXPOSURE DIVISION