Quadrant Analysis of the Reynolds Shear Stress in a Two-Height Canopy

Lior Shig, Valery Babin, Ron Shnapp, Eyal Fattal, Alex Liberzon, Yardena Bohbot-Raviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We study experimental data from a two-height roughness bed forming a top and bottom canopy sublayer of heights h and h/2, respectively. We focus on the double-averaged profiles of Reynolds stresses and the difference in contributions from sweep and ejection events, Δ S . The two-height roughness adds to the typical canopy–air interface at height h another, previously unexplored, inner-canopy interface at height h/2. We apply particle image velocimetry within and above the two-height canopy and obtain the flow statistics over a representative repeating cell area. A quadrant analysis of the turbulent velocity fields is used to explore Δ S . Our results show that, like in homogeneous dense canopies, ejections dominate the contribution to the measured shear stress (Δ S< 0) above 1.5h, while sweeps dominate below (Δ S> 0). In the two-height canopy roughness, Δ S peaks twice, right below the top and the bottom sublayer heights. We test how well the measured Δ S can be reproduced by the complete and incomplete cumulant expansion methods (CEM and ICEM), and further test a simplified gradient diffusion approach to the third-order velocity moments in the ICEM (ICEM-GD). We demonstrate that CEM and ICEM reproduce the measured Δ S fairly well above the canopy but over-estimate its values inside the canopy. It is also found that ICEM-GD captures the general shape of Δ S at heights dominated by ejections and reproduces the two peaks inside the canopy. But it fails above the canopy in the range h< z< 1.5 h . This failure uncovers the counter-gradient nature of the turbulent energy and shear stress flux associated with dense canopy flows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-57
Number of pages23
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Canopy flow
  • PIV
  • Quadrant analysis
  • Wind tunnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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