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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-260
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-260
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  23 Sep 2020

23 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Suitability of fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing to reveal mixing processes and higher-order moments at the forest-air interface

Olli Peltola1, Karl Lapo2,3, Ilkka Martinkauppi4, Ewan O'Connor1,5, Christoph K. Thomas2,3, and Timo Vesala6,7 Olli Peltola et al.
  • 1Climate Research Programme, Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Micrometeorology Group, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
  • 3Bayreuth Center for Ecology and Environmental Research, Bayceer, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
  • 4Geological survey of Finland, Kokkola, Finland
  • 5Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 6Institute for Atmosphere and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 68, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
  • 7Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Forest Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, 00014, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Suitability of fibre-optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) technique to observe atmospheric mixing profiles within and above forest was quantified and these profiles were analysed. The spatially continuous observations were made at a 125 m tall mast in a boreal pine forest. Air flows near forest canopies diverge from typical boundary layer flows due to the influence of roughness elements (i.e. trees) on the flow. Ideally these complex flows should be studied with spatially continuous measurements, yet such measurements are not feasible with conventional micrometeorological measurements with e.g. sonic anemometers. Hence the suitability of DTS measurements for studying canopy flows was quantified.

The DTS measurements were able to discern continuous profiles of turbulent fluctuations and mean values of air temperature along the mast providing information about mixing processes (e.g. canopy eddies, evolution of inversion layers at night) and up to third order turbulence statistics across the forest-atmosphere interface. Turbulence measurements with 3D sonic anemometers and Doppler lidar at the site were also utilised in this analysis. The continuous profiles for turbulence statistics were in line with prior studies made at wind tunnels and large eddy simulations for canopy flows. The DTS measurements contained a significant noise component which was however quantified and its effect on turbulence statistics was accounted for. Underestimation of air temperature fluctuations at high frequencies caused 20...30 % underestimation of temperature variance at typical flow conditions. Despite these limitations, the DTS measurements should prove useful also in other studies concentrating on flows near roughness elements and/or non-stationary periods, since the measurements revealed spatio-temporal patterns of the flow which were not possible to discern from single point measurements fixed in space.

Olli Peltola et al.

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Dataset for "Suitability of fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing to reveal mixing processes and higher-order moments at the forest-air interface" Olli Peltola, Karl Lapo, Ilkka Martinkauppi, Ewan O'Connor, Christoph K. Thomas, and Timo Vesala https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3822027

Olli Peltola et al.

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Short summary
We evaluated the suitability of fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) to observe spatial (>25 cm) and temporal (>1 s) details of the air flow within and above forests. The DTS measurements were able to discern up to 3rd order moments of the flow and observe spatial details of coherent flow motions. Similar measurements are not possible with more conventional measurement techniques. Hence the DTS measurements will provide key insights into flows close to roughness elements, e.g. trees.
We evaluated the suitability of fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) to observe...
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