LARGE EDDY SIMULATIONS OF CANOPY FLOWS OVER COMPLEX TERRAIN
Forest canopies cover about 30% of the land surfaces some of which are hilly or mountainous. Both complex terrain and forest canopies influence mean flow and turbulence, playing a critical role in affecting momentum and scalar transfer. Although recent advances have been made in numerical simulations of canopy flows, few have been conducted over steep slope terrain and considered full sets of physical and physiological processes in sub-canopy layers, which greatly limits our understanding of canopy flows and scalar transfer. To address this limitation, we upgrade the Weather Research and Forecasting model with the large-eddy simulations module (WRF-LES) by incorporating the immersed-boundary method (IBM) to improve the simulations over steep slope terrain. In addition, an advanced multiple layer canopy module (MCANOPY) is developed based largely on the Community Land Model version 4.5 and coupled with WRF-LES to simulate sources and/or sinks of momentum, heat, water vapor, and CO2 across multiple canopy layers. Both IBM and MCANOPY are evaluated against field measurements, demonstrating good performances compared with observations. The updated modeling system (i.e., WRF-LES-IBM-MCANOPY) is then applied over a forest edge to investigate the effects of foliage distributions and scalar distributions on canopy flows and scalar transfer. The results show that foliage distributions have a significant impact on the flow dynamics and scalar transfer, mainly due to the sub-canopy jet. The scalar distributions affect the scalar field with the ground source being the most important. The modeling system also simulates flows over forested hills. Flow dynamics over a three-dimensional hill show a different feature to those over a two-dimensional hill, where much large turbulence structures are simulated in the lee of a three-dimensional hill. Simulations over different slope hills demonstrate significant impacts of slopes. The lee side turbulence is enhanced as the hill slope increases. A new flow feature is the nearly unvarying flow field within the canopy in the lee of a steep slope hill, subjected to the influence of foliage distributions. Our upgraded WRF-LES-IBM-MCANOPY system has demonstrated promising capacities in many applications such as wind-turbine siting, wildfire propagation prediction, and interpretation of eddy covariance data over complex landscapes.