skip to main content

Title: The Influence of WENO Schemes on Large-Eddy Simulations of a Neutral Atmospheric Boundary Layer
Abstract This work explores the influence of Weighted Essentially Non-Oscillatory (WENO) schemes on Cloud Model 1 (CM1) large-eddy simulations (LES) of a quasi-steady, horizontally homogeneous, fully developed, neutral atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). An advantage of applying WENO schemes to scalar advection in compressible models is the elimination of acoustic waves and associated oscillations of domain-total vertical velocity. Applying WENO schemes to momentum advection in addition to scalar advection yields no further advantage, but has an adverse effect on resolved turbulence within LES. As a tool designed to reduce numerically generated spurious oscillations, WENO schemes also suppress physically realistic instability development in turbulence-resolving simulations. Thus, applying WENO schemes to momentum advection reduces vortex stretching, suppresses the energy cascade, reduces shear-production of resolved Reynolds stress, and eventually amplifies the differences between the surface-layer mean wind profiles in the LES and the mean wind profiles expected in accordance with the filtered law of the wall (LOTW). The role of WENO schemes in adversely influencing surface-layer turbulence has inspired a concept of anti-WENO (AWENO) schemes to enhance instability development in regions where energy-containing turbulent motions are inadequately resolved by LES grids. The success in reproducing the filtered LOTW via AWENO schemes suggests that improving advection schemes is a critical component toward faithfully simulating near-surface turbulence and dealing with other "Terra Incognita" problems.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Mesoscale‐to‐microscale coupling is an important tool for conducting turbulence‐resolving multiscale simulations of realistic atmospheric flows, which are crucial for applications ranging from wind energy to wildfire spread studies. Different techniques are used to facilitate the development of realistic turbulence in the large‐eddy simulation (LES) domain while minimizing computational cost. Here, we explore the impact of a simple and computationally efficient Stochastic Cell Perturbation method using momentum perturbation (SCPM‐M) to accelerate turbulence generation in boundary‐coupled LES simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting model. We simulate a convective boundary layer (CBL) to characterize the production and dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and the variation of TKE budget terms. Furthermore, we evaluate the impact of applying momentum perturbations of three magnitudes below, up to, and above the CBL on the TKE budget terms. Momentum perturbations greatly reduce the fetch associated with turbulence generation. When applied to half the vertical extent of the boundary layer, momentum perturbations produce an adequate amount of turbulence. However, when applied above the CBL, additional structures are generated at the top of the CBL, near the inversion layer. The magnitudes of the TKE budgets produced by SCPM‐M when applied at varying heights and with different perturbation amplitudes are always higher near the surface and inversion layer than those produced by No‐SCPM, as are their contributions to the TKE. This study provides a better understanding of how SCPM‐M reduces computational costs and how different budget terms contribute to TKE in a boundary‐coupled LES simulation.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Forest canopies play a critical role in affecting momentum and scalar transfer. Although there have been recent advances in numerical simulations of turbulent flows and scalar transfer across plant canopies and the atmosphere interface, few models have incorporated all important physical and physiological processes in subcanopy layers. Here we describe and evaluate an advanced multiple‐layer canopy module (MCANOPY), which is developed based largely on the Community Land Model version 4.5 and then coupled with the Weather Research and Forecasting model with large‐eddy simulations (WRF‐LES). The MCANOPY includes a suite of subcanopy processes, including radiation transfer, photosynthesis, canopy layer energy balance, momentum drag, and heat, water vapor, and CO2exchange between canopy layers and the canopy atmosphere. Numerical schemes for heat and water transport in soil, ground surface energy balance, and soil respiration are also included. Both the stand‐alone MCANOPY and the coupled system (the WRF‐LES‐MCANOPY) are evaluated against data measured in the Canopy Horizontal Array Turbulence Study field experiment. The MCANOPY performs reasonably well in reproducing vertical profiles of mean and turbulent flows as well as second‐order statistical quantities including heat and scalar fluxes within the canopy under unstable stability conditions. The coupled WRF‐LES‐MCANOPY captures major features of canopy edge flows under both neutral and unstable conditions. Limitations of the MCANOPY are discussed for our further work. Our results suggest that our model can be a promising modeling system for a variety of applications to study canopy flows and scalar transport (e.g., CO2).

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Mesoscale climate models provide indispensable tools to understand land‐atmosphere interactions over urban regions. However, uncertainties in urban canopy parameters (UCPs) and parameterization schemes lead to degraded representation of the drag effect in complex built terrains. In particular, for the widely applied single‐layer urban canopy model (SLUCM) coupled with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, near‐surface horizontal wind speed is known to be overestimated systematically. In this study, idealized large eddy simulations (LES) and WRF‐SLUCM simulations are conducted to study the separate effect of UCPs and aerodynamic parameterization on atmospheric boundary layer processes and rainfall variabilities in Phoenix, Arizona. For LES that explicitly resolves surface geometry, significant differences between three‐dimensional (3D) versus two‐dimensional (2D) representation of urban morphology are found in the surface layer and above. When surface drag is parameterized following SLUCM, surface morphologies have little impacts on the mean momentum transfer. WRF‐SLUCM simulation results, incorporated with 3D urban morphology data, indicate that simply refining the frontal area index will reduce the surface drag, which further amplifies the systematic positive bias of SLUCM in predicting horizontal wind speed. Replacing the drag parameterization in SLUCM by LES‐based aerodynamic parameters has evident impacts on near‐surface wind speed. The impact of urban roughness representation becomes the most evident during rainfall periods, due to the important role of surface drag in dictating moisture convergence. Our study underlines that apart from intensive efforts in obtaining detailed UCPs, it is also critical to enhance the urban momentum exchange parameterization schemes.

    more » « less
  4. Extensive experimental evidence highlights that scalar turbulence exhibits anomalous diffusion and stronger intermittency levels at small scales compared to that in fluid turbulence. This renders the corresponding subgrid-scale dynamics modeling for scalar turbulence a greater challenge to date. We develop a new large eddy simulation (LES) paradigm for efficiently and dynamically nonlocal LES modeling of the scalar turbulence. To this end, we formulate the underlying nonlocal model starting from the filtered Boltzmann kinetic transport equation, where the divergence of subgrid-scale scalar fluxes emerges as a fractional-order Laplacian term in the filtered advection–diffusion model, coding the corresponding superdiffusive nature of scalar turbulence. Subsequently, we develop a robust data-driven algorithm for estimation of the fractional (noninteger) Laplacian exponent, where we, on the fly, calculate the corresponding model coefficient employing a new dynamic procedure. Our a priori tests show that our new dynamically nonlocal LES paradigm provides better agreement with the ground-truth filtered direct numerical simulation data in comparison to the conventional static and dynamic Prandtl–Smagorinsky models. Moreover, in order to analyze the numerical stability and assessing the model's performance, we carry out comprehensive a posteriori tests. They unanimously illustrate that our new model considerably outperforms other existing functional models, correctly predicting the backscattering phenomena and, at the same time, providing higher correlations at small-to-large filter sizes. We conclude that our proposed nonlocal subgrid-scale model for scalar turbulence is amenable for coarse LES and very large eddy simulation frameworks even with strong anisotropies, applicable to environmental applications.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract Unsteadiness and horizontal heterogeneities frequently characterize atmospheric motions, especially within convective storms, which are frequently studied using large-eddy simulations (LES). The models of near-surface turbulence employed by atmospheric LES, however, predominantly assume statistically steady and horizontally homogeneous conditions (known as the equilibrium approach). The primary objective of this work is to investigate the potential consequences of such unrealistic assumptions in simulations of tornadoes. Cloud Model 1 (CM1) LES runs are performed using three approaches to model near-surface turbulence: the “semi-slip” boundary condition (which is the most commonly used equilibrium approach), a recently proposed nonequilibrium approach that accounts for some of the effects of turbulence memory, and a nonequilibrium approach based on thin boundary layer equations (TBLE) originally proposed by the engineering community for smooth-wall boundary layer applications. To be adopted for atmospheric applications, the TBLE approach is modified to account for the surface roughness. The implementation of TBLE into CM1 is evaluated using LES results of an idealized, neutral atmospheric boundary layer. LES runs are then performed for an idealized tornado characterized by rapid evolution, strongly curved air parcel trajectories, and substantial horizontal heterogeneities. The semi-slip boundary condition, by design, always yields a surface shear stress opposite the horizontal wind at the lowest LES grid level. The nonequilibrium approaches of modeling near-surface turbulence allow for a range of surface-shear-stress directions and enhance the resolved turbulence and wind gusts. The TBLE approach even occasionally permits kinetic energy backscatter from unresolved to resolved scales. Significance Statement The traditional approach of modeling the near-surface turbulence is not suitable for a tornado characterized by rapid evolution, strongly curved air parcel trajectories, and substantial horizontal heterogeneities. To understand the influence of statistically unsteady and horizontally heterogeneous near-surface conditions on tornadoes, this work adopts a fairly sophisticated approach from the engineering community and implements it into a widely used atmospheric model with necessary modifications. Compared to the traditional approach, the newly implemented approach produces more turbulent near-surface winds, more flexible surface-drag directions, and stronger wind gusts. These findings suggest a simulated tornado is very sensitive to the modeling approach of near-surface turbulence. 
    more » « less