Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    A two-dimensional, nonhydrostatic, coupled, earth/atmospheric model has been used to simulate mean and turbulent atmospheric characteristics near lines of extreme surface heating. Prognostic equations are used to solve for the horizontal and vertical wind components, potential temperature, and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE). The model computes nonhydrostatic pressure deviations from a derived atmospheric continuity equation. Horizontal pressure gradients generated from surface heating are calculated from thermal wind principles. Model simulations indicate the development of buoyancy-induced horizontal roll vortices near regions with surface temperatures typical of wildland fires. Model results are qualitatively similar to previous wind-tunnel experiments. When surface temperatures are increased, the circulations associated with the roll vortices become more vigorous. The introduction of a weak ambient flow in a direction perpendicular to the line of heating has a major influence on the simulated circulation patterns and nonhydrostatic pressure deviations near the line of heating. The effect is more pronounced for lower surface temperatures at the heating line. The TKE profiles reveal preferred regions of TKE growth that can be attributed mainly to buoyancy or advection effects.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Heilman, W.E.; Fast, J.D. 1992. Simulations of horizontal roll vortex development above lines of extreme surface heating. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 2(2): 55-68.


    Nonhydrostatic atmospheric model, Vorticity, Turbulence, Buoyancy, Advection

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page