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LES OF INHOMOGENEOUS CANOPY FLOWS USING TERRESTRIAL LASER SCANNING DATA

Fabian Schlegel
Technische Universitat Dresden Institute of Fluid Mechanics 01062 Dresden, Germany

Jorg Stiller
Technische Universitat Dresden Institute of Fluid Mechanics 01062 Dresden, Germany

Sinopsis

The effect of sub-tree forest heterogeneity in the flow past a clearing is investigated by means of large-eddy simulation (LES). For this purpose, a detailed representation of the canopy has been acquired by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). The scanning data is used to produce a high resolution plant area distribution (PAD). For the LES study, the PAD is embedded in a larger domain covered with an idealised, horizontally homogeneous canopy. Simulations are performed for neutral conditions and compared to an LES with homogeneous PAD. The study reveals a considerable influence of small-scale plant distribution on the mean velocity field as well as on turbulence data. Particularly near the edges of the clearing, where canopy structure is highly variable, usage of a realistic PAD appears to be crucial for capturing the local flow structure. Inside the forest, local variations in plant density induce a complex pattern of up and downward motions, which remain visible in the mean flow.