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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Photosynthesis Under Field Conditions. VIII. Analysis of Windspeed Fluctuation Data to Evaluate Turbulent Exchange Within a Corn Crop1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 3, p. 255-261
    Received: June 21, 1965

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  1. J. L. Wright and
  2. E. R. Lemon2



Turbulent transfer within a crop of corn was characterized by an aerodynamic approach. The distributions of windspeed within an immature and a mature crop were measured using both cup and heated thermocouple anemometers. A combination of the statistical and mixing- length theories was employed to analyze the wind data for transfer coefficients.

Eulerian time scales of turbulence were calculated from the windspeed fluctuations of selected 30-second periods of semi-steady wind. Momentum transfer coefficients were determined from the scale of turbulence by equating it to the mixing length and assuming isotropy. The resulting values were as large as 8,000 cm2 sec−1. The shearing stress profiles calculated with these values had unrealistically sharp maximums just below the top of the crop. This anomaly was considered an artifact of the method resulting from extreme anisotropy in the turbulent shear flow.

The K values obtained by the statistical mixing length method were approximately ten times larger than those determined by logarithmic profile analysis. The latter values were considered more nearly correct and were used as a basis for correcting the other values.

The results showed that the magnitude of turbulent transfer is several orders of magnitude greater than molecular diffusion even at levels deep within the crop. The transfer coefficient showed a marked attenuation with depth below the top of the corn but remained a function of windspeed at all heights.

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