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This content will become publicly available on September 1, 2024

Title: Wind-Tunnel Experiments of Turbulent Wind Fields over a Two-dimensional (2D) Steep Hill: Effects of the Stable Boundary Layer
Flow separation caused by steep topography remains a significant obstacle in accurately predicting turbulent boundary-layer flows over complex terrain, despite the utilization of sophisticated numerical models. The addition of atmospheric thermal stability, in conjunction with steep topography, further complicates the determination of disrupted turbulent wind patterns. The turbulent separated flows over a two-dimensional (2D) steep hill under thermal stratification has not been extensively addressed in previous experimental studies. Such measurements are crucial for enhancing our comprehension of flow physics and validating numerical models. We measured the turbulent wind flows over a 2D steep hill immersed in a stable boundary layer (of the bulk Richardson Number = 0.256) in a thermally-stratified boundary-layer wind tunnel. The flow separation, re-circulation zone and flow reattachment were characterized by the planar particle image velocimetry technique. Vertical profiles of mean air temperature and its fluctuations are also quantified at representative locations above the 2D steep hill and in the near wake region. Results indicate that the separated shear layer, initiated near the crest of the 2D steep hill, dominates the physical process leading to high turbulence levels and the turbulent kinetic energy production in the wake region for both stable and neutral thermal stability. Although the stable boundary layer does not dramatically change the turbulent flow pattern around the hill, the mean separation bubble is elongated by 13%, and its vertical extent is decreased by approximately 20%. Furthermore, the reduced turbulence intensities and turbulent kinetic energy of the near wake flow are attributed to the relatively low turbulence intensity and low momentum of the stable boundary layer due to buoyancy damping, compared to the neutral boundary layer. Additionally, a distinct low-temperature region—a cold pool—is extended beyond the separation bubble, reflecting the significant sheltering effect of the 2D steep hill on the downwind flow and temperature field.  more » « less
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Journal Name:
Boundary-Layer Meteorology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
441 to 461
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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