Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 109–132 | Cite as

A new large-eddy simulation model for simulating air flow and warm clouds above highly complex terrain. Part I: The dry model

  • Daniel Reinert
  • Volkmar Wirth
  • Joachim Eichhorn
  • Walter-Georg Panhans
Original Paper


This paper presents the dry version of a new large-eddy simulation (LES) model, which is designed to simulate air flow and clouds above highly complex terrain. The model is three-dimensional and nonhydrostatic, and the governing equations are sound filtered by use of the anelastic approximation. A fractional step method is applied to solve the equations on a staggered Cartesian grid. Arbitrarily steep and complex orography can be accounted for through the method of viscous topography. The dynamical model core is validated by comparing the results for a spreading density current against a benchmark solution. The model accuracy is further assessed through the simulation of turbulent flow across a quasi two-dimensional ridge. The results are compared with wind-tunnel data. The method of viscous topography is not restricted to moderately sloped terrain. Compared to models using curvilinear grids, it allows this model to be applied to a much wider range of flows. This is illustrated through the simulation of an atmospheric boundary-layer flow over a surface mounted cube. The results show that the dry model version is able to accurately represent the complex flow in the vicinity of three-dimensional obstacles. It is concluded that the method of viscous topography was successfully implemented into a micrometeorological LES model. As will be shown in Part II, this allows the detailed study of clouds in highly complex terrain.


Complex orography Inflow turbulence Large-eddy simulation Turbulent flow 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Reinert
    • 1
  • Volkmar Wirth
    • 1
  • Joachim Eichhorn
    • 1
  • Walter-Georg Panhans
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Atmospheric PhysicsJohannes Gutenberg-University MainzMainzGermany

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