Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
27 Nov 2008
 | 27 Nov 2008

Structure function analysis and intermittency in the atmospheric boundary layer

J. M. Vindel, C. Yagüe, and J. M. Redondo

Abstract. Data from the SABLES98 experimental campaign (Cuxart et al., 2000) have been used in order to study the relationship of the probability distribution of velocity increments (PDFs) to the scale and the degree of stability. This connection is demonstrated by means of the velocity structure functions and the PDFs of the velocity increments.

Using the hypothesis of local similarity, so that the third order structure function scaling exponent is one, the inertial range in the Kolmogorov sense has been identified for different conditions, obtaining the velocity structure function scaling exponents for several orders. The degree of intermittency in the energy cascade is measured through these exponents and compared with the forcing intermittency revealed through the evolution of flatness with scale.

The role of non-homogeneity in the turbulence structure is further analysed using Extended Self Similarity (ESS). A criterion to identify the inertial range and to show the scale independence of the relative exponents is described. Finally, using least-squares fits, the values of some parameters have been obtained which are able to characterize intermittency according to different models.