Causal interaction in high frequency turbulence at the biosphere-atmosphere interface: Structural behavior

Leila Constanza Hernandez Rodriguez, Praveen Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-frequency (e.g., 10 Hz) eddy covariance measurements are typically used to estimate fluxes at the land-atmosphere interface at timescales of 15-60 min. These multivariate data contain information about the interdependency at high frequency between the interacting variables such as wind, humidity, temperature, and CO 2 . We use data at 10 Hz from an eddy covariance instrument located at 25 m above agricultural land in the Midwestern US, which offers an opportunity to move beyond the traditional spectral analyses to explore causal dependency among variables. In this study, we quantify the structure of inter-dependencies of interacting variables at high frequency represented by a directed acyclic graph (DAG). We compare DAGs to investigate changes in structural differences in causal interactions. We then apply a distance-based classification and k -means clustering approach to identify the evolution of the causal structure represented by a DAG. Our method selects an unbiased number of clusters of similar structures and characterizes the similarities and differences between them. We explore a range of dynamic behavior using data from a clear sky day and during a solar eclipse in 2017. Our results show well-defined clusters of similar causal dependencies as the system evolves. Our approach provides a methodological framework to understand how causal dependence in turbulence manifests in high-frequency data when represented through a DAG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083139
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematical Physics


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