Spectral scaling of static pressure fluctuations in the atmospheric surface layer: The interaction between large and small scales

John D Albertson, Gabriel Katul, Marc B. Parlange, William E. Eichinger

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Static pressure fluctuations measured in the atmospheric surface layer over a grass covered forest clearing are studied in the context of Townsend's 1961 hypothesis regarding the effect of the outer region on the inner region. It is shown that large-scale pressure features are actively straining the inertial-scale pressure fluctuations, thus invalidating the direct extension of Kolmogorov's 1941 hypothesis to the spectral scaling of pressure within the inertial subrange. A parameter describing the large scale pressure fluctuations is added to the set of variables responsible for inertial-range pressure differences and dimensional analysis is employed to derive an improved scaling law for pressure spectra which more closely matches these and previous experimental results. An examination of the Poisson equation for pressure is conducted and found to support the dimensional and experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1725-1732
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

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