Articles | Volume 16, issue 7
31 Jul 1998
31 Jul 1998

Analysis of the effect of the coastal discontinuity on near-surface flow

S. C. Pryor and R. J. Barthelmie

Abstract. Conditional sampling is used herein to examine the effect of fetch, stability, and surface roughness changes on wind speeds in the coastal zone. Using data from an offshore wind farm it is shown that at a distance of 1.2–1.7 km from the coast, up to a height of 20 m above the surface, differences in wind speed distributions from onshore and offshore masts are statistically significant for flow moving offshore under all stability conditions. In contrast, differences between the distribution of wind speeds at 38 and 48 m at masts located at the coast and in the coastal zone are not significant for flow moving offshore, indicating that flow at these heights is not fully adjusted to the change in surface roughness (land to sea). These findings are in accordance with calculations of the internal boundary layer (IBL) height which indicate that the IBL would frequently be below the two upper measurement heights at 1.2–1.6 km from the coast. The analyses presented here indicate that the wind speed distribution at a potential offshore wind farm site is not solely dependent on fetch (distance from the coast) but also depends on the stability climate.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics · Mesoscale meteorology · Ocean-atmosphere interaction · Marine meteorology