Numerical study on the effect of air-sea-land interaction on the atmospheric boundary layer in coastal area

Zixuan Yang, Antoni Calderer, Sida He, Fotis Sotiropoulos, James D. Doyle, David D. Flagg, Jamie MacMahan, Qing Wang, Brian K. Haus, Hans C. Graber, Lian Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We have performed large-eddy simulations (LES) to study the effect of complex land topography on the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) in coastal areas. The areas under investigation are located at three beaches in Monterey Bay, CA, USA. The sharp-interface immersed boundary method is employed to resolve the land topography down to grid scale. We have considered real-time and what-if cases. In the real-time cases, measurement data and realistic land topographies are directly incorporated. In the what-if cases, the effects of different scenarios of wind speed, wind direction, and terrain pattern on the momentum flux at the beach are studied. The LES results are compared with simulations using the Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) and field measurement data. We find that the land topography imposes a critical influence on the ABL in the coastal area. The momentum fluxes obtained from our LES agree with measurement data. Our results indicate the importance of capturing the effects of land topographies in simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 5 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This research is supported by Office of Naval Research as part of the Coastal Land–Air–Sea Interactions (CLASI) project managed by Reginald Beach.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Atmospheric boundary layer
  • Coastal area
  • Immersed-boundary method
  • Land topography
  • Large-eddy simulation
  • Surface roughness


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