Measurement of atmospheric boundary layer based on super-large-scale particle image velocimetry using natural snowfall

M. Toloui, S. Riley, J. Hong, K. Howard, Leonardo Patricio Chamorro Chavez, M. Guala, J. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present an implementation of super-large-scale particle image velocimetry (SLPIV) to characterize spatially the turbulent atmospheric boundary layer using natural snowfall as flow tracers. The SLPIV technique achieves a measurement area of ~22 m × 52 m, up to 56 m above the ground, with a spatial resolution of ~0.34 m. The traceability of snow particles is estimated based on their settling velocity obtained from the wall-normal component of SLPIV velocity measurements. The results are validated using coincident measurements from sonic anemometers on a meteorological tower situated in close proximity to the SLPIV sampling area. A contrast of the mean velocity and the streamwise Reynolds stress component obtained from the two techniques shows less than 3 and 12 % difference, respectively. Additionally, the turbulent energy spectra measured by SLPIV show a similar inertial subrange and trends when compared to those measured by the sonic anemometers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1737
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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