Characterization of open and suburban boundary layer wind turbulence in 2008 Hurricane Ike

  • Jung, S. (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering) ;
  • Masters, F.J. (Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, University of Florida)
  • Received : 2012.03.28
  • Accepted : 2012.10.03
  • Published : 2013.08.25


The majority of experiments to characterize the turbulence in the surface layer have been performed in flat, open expanses. In order to characterize the turbulence in built-up terrain, two mobile towers were deployed during Hurricane Ike (2008) in close proximity, but downwind of different terrain conditions: suburban and open. Due to the significant non-stationarity of the data primarily caused by changes in wind direction, empirical mode decomposition was employed to de-trend the signal. Analysis of the data showed that the along-wind mean turbulence intensity of the suburban terrain was 37% higher than that of the open terrain. For the mean vertical turbulence intensity, the increase for the suburban terrain was as high as 74%, which may have important implications in structural engineering. The gust factor of the suburban terrain was also 16% higher than that of the open terrain. Compared to non-hurricane spectral models, the obtained spectra showed significantly higher energy in low frequencies especially for the open terrain.


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