Wind tunnel investigation of drifting snow development in a boundary layer

Tsubasa Okaze, Akashi Mochida, Yoshihide Tominaga, Masaki Nemoto, Takeshi Sato, Yasutomo Sasaki, Kazusato Ichinohe

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Wind tunnel measurements over loose snow surface were carried out to experimentally investigate the characteristics of drifting snow phenomena in a non-equilibrium boundary layer and to obtain data for examining the numerical model of snow transport coupled with the computational fluid dynamics (CFD). In this experiment, the spatial distributions of the mass flux of drifting snow, wind velocity, and turbulence statistics were measured simultaneously under several different wind speed conditions. This paper reported that the drifting snow particles reduced the mean wind velocity near the snow surface when saltation occurred. The effective roughness height z0' and the friction velocity 〈u*〉 estimated from our experimental results were in good agreement with the relation between z0' and 〈u*〉 obtained in previous research. The turbulence energy k increased when saltation occurred because the velocity gradient above the saltation layer increased due to the effect of snow particle near the surface on flowfield. The streamwise change of the transport rate of drifting snow was also obtained by integrating the vertical profile of the mass flux. It indicated that the saltation layer requires several meters to reach equilibrium state. In addition, in the highest wind speed case, the transport rate showed the maximum value before saltation layer reached equilibrium state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-539
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May


  • Boundary layer
  • Drifting snow development
  • Non-equilibrium saltation layer
  • Wind tunnel investigation


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