Large-eddy simulation of plant canopy flows using plant-scale representation

Wusi Yue, Marc B. Parlange, Charles Meneveau, Weihong Zhu, René Van Hout, Joseph Katz

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Turbulent flow in a corn canopy is simulated using large-eddy simulation (LES) with a Lagrangian dynamic Smagorinsky model. A new numerical representation of plant canopies is presented that resolves approximately the local structure of plants and takes into account their spatial arrangement. As a validation, computational results are compared with experimental data from recent field particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements and two previous experimental campaigns. Numerical simulation using the traditional modelling method to represent the canopy (field-scale approach) is also conducted as a comparison to the plant-scale approach. The combination of temporal PIV data, LES and spatial PIV data allows us to couple a wide range of relevant turbulence scales. There is good agreement between experimental data and numerical predictions using the plant-scale approach in terms of various turbulence statistics. Within the canopy, the plant-scale approach also allows the capture of more details than the field-scale approach, including instantaneous gusts that penetrate deep inside the canopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-203
Number of pages21
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Canopy turbulence
  • Corn canopy
  • Energy spectrum
  • Large-eddy simulation

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