Estimation of Turbulence Parameters from Scanning Lidars and in-situ Instrumentation in the Perdigao 2017 Campaign

Julie Lundquist, Norman Wildmann, Nicola Bodini, Ludovic Bariteau, Johannes Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The understanding of the sources, spatial distribution and temporal variability of turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and improved simulation of its forcing processes require observations in a broad range of terrain types and atmospheric conditions. In this study, we estimate turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation rate using multiple techniques, including traditional in-situ measurements of sonic anemometers on meteorological towers, a hot-wire anemometer on a tethered lifting system (TLS), as well as remote-sensing retrievals from a vertically staring lidar and two lidars performing range-height indicator (RHI) scans. For the retrieval of e from the lidar RHI scans, we introduce a modification of the Doppler Spectral Width (DSW) method. This method uses spatio-temporal averages of the variance of the line-of-sight (LOS) velocity and the turbulent broadening of the Doppler backscatter spectrum. We validate this method against the observations from the other instruments, also including uncertainty estimations for each method. The synthesis of the results from all instruments enables a detailed analysis of the spatial and temporal variability of e across a valley between two parallel ridges at the Perdigao 2017 campaign. We find that the shear zones above and below nighttime low-level jets (LLJ) experience turbulence enhancements, as does the wake of a wind turbine (WT). We analyze in detail how e varies in the early morning of 14 June 2017, when the turbulence in the valley, approximately eleven rotor diameters downstream of the WT, is still significantly enhanced by the WT wake.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages33
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-75606 for final paper as published in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-74196


  • atmospheric boundary layer
  • lidar
  • modeling
  • turbulence
  • wind energy
  • wind turbine


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