Numerical Circulation Model for Wind Induced Flow

by Bryan R. Pearce, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Maine, 351 Aubert Hall, Orono, Me. 04469,
Cortis K. Cooper, (A.M.ASCE), President; New England Engrs., Penobscot Plaza, Bangor, Me. 04401,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 3, Pg. 285-302

Document Type: Journal Paper


Based on a compilation of current data at the surface, the classical Ekman theory is inappropriate for calculating wind generated currents near the surface. The cause is found to be the assumption by Ekman of a vertical eddy viscosity, Nv, which is constant over a depth. A numerical model is described briefly, which allows for a variation of Nv over depth, z, as well as in the x and y directions. The model was developed using a Galerkin technique. The model can include a sharp, wind driven profile near the surface. The method is computationally reasonable, requiring about the same number of computations as a vertically averaged formulation. A relationship for choosing Nv versus depth is presented. Experimental data are compared to the numerical model results.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Wind engineering | Computing in civil engineering | Terrain models | Eddy (fluid dynamics) | Viscosity | Light rail transit | Professional societies

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