Flows in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) are complex due to heat transfer, buoyancy, humidity, and surface roughness and topography. The atmosphere is crucial to many applications, including weather forecast, climate change, air pollution, wind energy, etc. To better understand the dynamics of ABLs, we have established an advanced CFD tool using large-eddy simulations to resolve the multi-physics in atmospheric flows. The simulation is capable of resolving turbulence down to a reasonably fine scale with high computational accuracy and efficiency.

We are interested in the fundamental fluid dynamics in the ABLs over land and ocean. For example, we have examined the coherent structures in the ABL over land in order to model the momentum and heat transfer processes in the convective boundary layers. We have also studied the interactions between wind turbulence and water waves to gain a better understanding of the marine atmospheric boundary layer. Based on the simulation results, we have analyzed the propagation of EM/EO signal in the atmosphere and the performance of wind turbine. Currently, We are also using LES to investigate the ABL diurnal cycle over land and ocean, and the features of air flows over complex terrains to study coastal land-air-sea interactions.

Video file
Simulation of air turbulence over land
Video file
Simulation of air turbulence over ocean

Selected Publications:

  • Cao, T. & Shen, L. (2021), “A numerical and theoretical study of wind over fast-propagating water waves,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 919, A38. 
  • Hao, X., Cao, T. & Shen, L. (2021), “Mechanistic study of shoaling effect on momentum transfer between turbulent flow and traveling wave using large-eddy simulation,” Physical Review Fluids, Vol. 6, 054608.
  • Deng, B., Zhao, M., Wang, Q. & Shen, L. (2021), “Numerical study of near-surface jet in the atmospheric surface layer over an oceanic temperature front,” Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, Vol. 126, e2020JD032934.
  • Cao, T., Deng, B. & Shen, L. (2020), “A simulation-based mechanistic study of turbulent wind blowing over opposing water waves,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 901, A27.
  • Hao, X. & Shen, L. (2019), “Wind-wave coupling study using LES of wind and phased-resolved simulation of nonlinear waves,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 874, pp.391-425.
  • Yang, Z., Calderer, A., He, S., Sotiropoulos, F., Krishnamurthy, R., Leo, L.S., Fernando, H.J.S., Hocut, C.M. & Shen, L. (2019), “Measurement-based numerical study of effects of realistic land topography and stratification on coastal marine atmospheric surface layer,” Boundary-Layer Meteorology, Vol. 171, pp.289-314.
  • Lyu, P., Chen W., Li, H. & Shen, L. (2019), “A numerical study on the development of self-similarity in a wind turbine wake using an improved pseudo spectral large-eddy simulation solver,” Energies, 12, 643.
  • Yang, Z., Calderer, A., He, S., Sotiropoulos, F., Doyle, J., Flagg, D., MacMahan, J., Wang, Q., Haus, B., Graber, H. & Shen, L. (2018), “Numerical study on the effect of air–sea–land interaction on the atmospheric boundary layer in coastal area,” Atmosphere, Vol. 9(2), 51.