Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

The Effects of Canopy Morphology on Flow Over a Two-Dimensional Isolated Ridge


Momentum and mass exchanges between the atmosphere and forests situated on complex terrain continue to draw significant research attention primarily because of their significance to a plethora of applications. In this paper, we investigated flows behavior on the leeward side of a two-dimensional forested ridge under neutrally stratified conditions using large-eddy simulations (LESs). The goal is to understand how variations in leaf area index (LAI), vertical canopy foliage distributions, and forest edge positions affect mean/turbulent flow statistics, momentum fluxes, and onset of recirculation patterns. Although pressure perturbations are dominated by the hill shape, it is demonstrated here that changes in canopy foliage distribution modulate intensities and patterns of the leeward adverse pressure gradients. Such changes in the adverse pressure gradients alter the mean velocity streamlines including the patterns and magnitudes of the leeward downward mean vertical velocity and the velocity variances and momentum flux in the wake region. While a downwind recirculation zone develops in all cases, the details regarding the incipient location and recirculation zone size vary including positions of the separation and reattachment points. Furthermore, changes in the strength and depth of the zone occur due to canopy-induced changes in adverse pressure gradients, advection, and canopy drag. Because the recirculation zone impacts the local mean advective terms in momentum and scalar exchanges, the simulations here indicate that canopy morphology-induced changes in the leeward flows have significant implications to both measurements and models of biosphere-atmosphere exchange over complex terrain.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View