Signatures of Air–Wave Interactions Over a Large Lake

Qi Li, Elie R. Bou-Zeid, Nikki Vercauteren, Marc Parlange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The air–water exchange of momentum and scalars (temperature and water vapour) is investigated using the Lake-Atmosphere Turbulent EXchange (LATEX) dataset. The wind waves and swell are found to affect the coupling between the water surface and the air differently. The surface-stress vector aligns with the wind velocity in the presence of wind waves, but a wide range of stress–wind misalignment angles is observed during swell. The momentum transport efficiency decreases when significant stress–wind misalignment is present, suggesting a strong influence of surface wave properties on surface drag. Based on this improved understanding of the role of wave–wind misalignment, a new relative wind speed for surface-layer similarity formulations is proposed and tested using the data. The new expression yields a value of the von Kármán constant (κ) of 0.38, compared to 0.36 when using the absolute wind speed, as well as reduced data fitting errors. Finally, the ratios of aerodynamic to scalar roughness lengths are computed and various existing models in the literature are tested using least-square fitting to the observed ratios. The tests are able to discriminate between the performance of various models; however, they also indicate that more investigations are required to understand the physics of scalar exchanges over waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-468
Number of pages24
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


  • Aerodynamic roughness length
  • Air-sea interaction
  • Air-wave interaction
  • Marine boundary layer
  • Scalar roughness length


Dive into the research topics of 'Signatures of Air–Wave Interactions Over a Large Lake'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this