Flow Above the Treetops

As this smoke visualization shows, trees have a significant impact on airflow around them. Flow in the image is from left to right. On the left, the upstream air is traveling in smooth, laminar lines that are quickly disrupted as the flow moves into the trees. After the first shorter trees, flow inside the wooded area has been broken up and slowed. Above the canopy, the smoke streaklines have also slowed and become more turbulent. Understanding how wind and trees interact is important in a variety of applications, including when adding renewable energy options to buildings and when predicting the spread of forest fires. (Image credit: W. Frank et al.)

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