Three-dimensional simulations of air flow and momentum transfer in partially harvested forests
Clark, Terry L. | Mitchell, Stephen J.
In order to predict wind loading on trees (canopy height h) in partially harvested forests, it is necessary to characterize air flow and momentum transfer in progressively more complex patterns where groups of trees (or aggregates) are retained. In this study, we used large-eddy simulation to explore the effects of aggregate size, inter-aggregate spacing, and the ratio between the aggregate size and inter-aggregate spacing on air flow and momentum transfer. Forty-five grid points across an aggregate were needed to achieve an adequate level of turbulence. Using grid sizes of h/15 throughout was too viscous for the smaller aggregates. Vertical and horizontal flow deflection by the leading aggregates sheltered some of the downstream aggregates to varying degrees where turbulence increased for subsequent rows. The number of rows of protected aggregates decreased as aggregate dimensions and the space between aggregates increased. A theoretical treatment of time-dependent wind is presented for the lead aggregate and a simulation case is presented for the case of a gust of reduced wind passing through the aggregate pattern. The leading aggregate responded with decreasing moment for decreasing ambient wind speed as predicted by theory. However, downwind aggregates experienced substantial increases in bending moment. The overall results of the disruptive aspects of time dependence agrees with arguments regarding the role of irrotational (potential) flow to this problem. Our treatment of retention pattern design is only a first step and further research suggestions are presented.Show more [+] Less [-]