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Ejective and Sweeping Motions Above a Peatland and Their Role in Relaxed-Eddy-Accumulation Measurements and Turbulent Transport Modelling

Katul, Gabriel, Peltola, Olli, Grönholm, Tiia, Launiainen, Samuli, Mammarella, Ivan, Vesala, Timo
Boundary-layer meteorology 2018 v.169 no.2 pp. 163-184
carbon dioxide, laboratory experimentation, methane, models, momentum, peatlands, roughness, space and time, turbulent flow, water vapor
The three turbulent velocity components, water vapour ([Formula: see text]), carbon dioxide ([Formula: see text]), and methane ([Formula: see text]) concentration fluctuations are measured above a boreal peatland and analyzed using conditional sampling and quadrant analysis. The overarching question to be addressed is to what degree lower-order cumulant expansion methods describe transport efficiency and the relative importance of ejections and sweeps to momentum, [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] fluxes across a range of atmospheric flow regimes. The patchy peatland surface creates distinctly different source and sink distributions for the three scalars in space and time thereby adding to the uniqueness of the set-up. The measured and modelled fractional contributions to the momentum flux show that sweep events dominate over ejections in agreement with prior studies conducted in the roughness sublayer. For scalar fluxes, ejections dominate the turbulent fluxes over sweeps. While ejective motions persist longer for momentum transport, sweeping events persist longer for all three scalars. Third-order cumulant expansions describe many of the results detailed above, and the results are surprising given the highly non-Gaussian distribution of [Formula: see text] turbulent fluctuations. Connections between the asymmetric contributions of sweeps and ejections and the flux-transport term arising in scalar turbulent-flux-budget closure are derived and shown to agree reasonably well with measurements. The proposed model derived here is much simpler than prior structural models used to describe laboratory experiments. Implications of such asymmetric contributions on, (i) the usage of the now proliferating relaxed-eddy-accumulation method in turbulent flux measurements, (ii) the constant-flux assumption, and (iii) gradient-diffusion closure models are presented.