Saarblitz, Wind farm in HDR,, creative commons by-nc-sa 2.0


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Data Provider: 

The data have been extracted from Taylor and Teunissen (1983, 1985) reports, available from York University.

Data accesibility: 

The test case is offered to participants of the IEA Task 31 Wakebench. In the future it will be open for public access.

Site Description: 

The Askervein hill project can be considered the cornerstone of boundary layer flow over hills. It is based on two filed campaigns conducted in 1982 and 1983 on and around the Askervein hill, a 116 m high (126 m above sea level) hill on the west coast of the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. The hill is isolated in all wind directions but the NE-E sector. To the SW there is a flat uniform fetch of 3-4 km to the coastline where there are sand dunes and low cliffs. A uniform roughness of 0.03 m is assumed all over the hill. The smooth slopes of the hill, generally less than 20% with some small areas reaching 30%, ensures fully attached flow most of the time, being a rather friendly site for flow models.


Over 50 towers were deployed and instrumented for wind speed and turbulence measurements. 35 of them consisted on 10 m masts, instrumented with cup anemometers only at 10m, configuring two arrays across the mayor axis of the hill (lines A and AA), in the prevailing wind direction from SW, and one array along the minor axis of the hill (line B). TALA kites (TK runs) were used during some periods to provide upstream profiles up to ~500 m. Regular AIRsonde and upper air soundings were used to define the state of the atmosphere.  In the 1983 experiment, two 50 m towers (at a reference position RS, 3 km upstream in the SSW direction, and at the hill top HT, both with cup and Gill UVW anemometers), a 30 m tower (at the base of the hill BRE), a 16 m tower at CP' (near CP with Gill and cup anemometers), and thirteen 10 m towers were instrumented for 3-component turbulence measurements. Exact tower positions are given in the ASK83 document. In addition to the anemometry, other instruments were deployed to provide background temperature, humidity, precipitation and pressure data. In particular, in the ASK83 campaign, the temperature difference between 4.9 and 16.9 m at RS was monitored in order to estimate the Richardson number.

Measurement Campaign: 

Two field campaigns were conducted during September-October 1982 (ASK82 campaign, Taylor and Teunissen, 1983) and 1983 (ASK83 campaign, Taylor and Teunissen, 1985). The velocities from the 10 m masts were averaged over 30 min runs for selected periods, usually of 2 hr total duration, to obtain mean flow profiles (MF runs). Turbulence data were recorded for selected periods only, also processed as 30 min blocks and combined to form 2 hr runs (TU runs). The ASK82 campaign comprises 24 hours of moderate-to-strong surface winds from the undisturbed wind direction sectors leading to 11 MF runs. The ASK83 campaign comprises a 16-day period with a total of 44 MF and 19 TU runs, almost all in near-neutral atmosphere. Further information about the campaigns and an inventory of all the measurements are summarized by Taylor and Teunissen (1987).


Salmon et al (1988) presented results on the variations in mean wind speed at fixed points above the ground. An analysis of the vertical profiles of mean wind and integral turbulence statistics at the reference masts is reported by Mickle et al (1988).

Numerous papers have been published on atmospheric models of the Askervein hill test case, almost all of them dealing with the 210º wind direction case, almost aligned with lines A and AA. Walmsley and Taylor (1996) presented both numerical and wind tunnel model results in a survey of the intensive research developed in the first decade after the field campaign. Linear models as the spectral model of Beljaars et al. (1987), perform well in predicting the mean flow observations in the upwind slopes and at the hilltop but fail in the lee side of the hill. These difficulties were significantly overcome by introducing non-linear terms in the spectral model (Weng and Taylor, 1992).

The wind tunnel results of the early studies showed an important dependency of the flow field on the model roughness: while the best agreement on the windward side and the summit of the hill were obtained with smooth models, the performance in the lee side was better with rough models. The rough physical model also provided better fit to turbulence variables.

The application of CFD models in the simulation of the Askervein hill case has been the main activity of the last two decades since the pioneering works of Raithby et al. (1987), who simulated an isolated Askervein hill with a mesh of 20x20x19 = 7600 cells. Classical CFD-related issues have been addressed including: effect of topographic detail and domain dimensions, grid resolution, turbulence closure, and inlet and terrain boundary conditions. Kim and Patel (2000) tested different steady RANS turbulence models and found the best performance with the RNG version of k-ε. Castro et al. (2003) present the results of steady and unsteady RANS k-ε turbulence model at different grid resolutions, showing good performance in the mean flow even with coarse grids. The influence of downstream hills, for the 210º case, was also assessed concluding that their influence on the flow at the lee side of the Askervein hill was not important. Variable roughness and transient simulations presented the best results in the predictions of the unsteady flow field of the lee side of the hill. 

Undheim et al. (2006) used a commercial CFD solver based on steady k-ε closure with Coriolis effects included. The inlet boundary conditions were defined by simulating a homogeneous 1D atmospheric boundary layer. Good performance is observed in predicting the mean flow field but, as found by previous RANS-based studies, the turbulence in the lee side of the hill is underestimated. Grid dependency simulations were conducted varying both horizontal and vertical resolution. Vertical resolution showed larger influence, particularly regarding the relation between first-cell height and wall the functions. Vertical resolution is pointed out as the key issue related to the simulation of turbulence in the wake of the hill.

Silva Lopes et al. (2007) performed LES simulations of the Askervein 210º run obtaining good solution for the mean flow and better results on turbulence profiles than with RANS k-ε (Casto et al., 2003). However grid convergence was not achieved in the lee side of the hill. Bechmann (2006) also performed LES simulations of this case, using RANS in the near wall region. Compared to a full RANS simulation, the LES results showed improvement in predicting the hilltop speed-up and the turbulent kinetic energy in the lee side of the hill, where RANS showed large under-predictions.


Bechmann A., 2006, Large-Eddy simulation of Atmospheric Flow over Complex Terrain, Risf-PhD-28(EN), Risø-DTU National Laboratory, Technical University of Denmark

Beljaars, A.C., Hunt J.C.R. and Richards K.J., 1987, A mixed spectral finite-difference Model for neutrally stratified boundary-layer flow over roughness changes and topography,Boundary-Layer Meteorol.38:273-303

Castro F.A., Palma J.M.L.M. and Silva Lopes A., 2003, Simulation of the Askervein hill flow. Part I: Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stoker equations (k-ε turbulence model),Boundary-Layer Meteorol.107:501-530

Kim H.G. and Patel V.C., 2000, Test of turbulence models for wind flow over terrain with separation and recirculation,Boundary-Layer Meteorol.94:5-21

Mickle R.E., Cook N.J., Hoff A.M., Jensen N.O., Salmon J.R., Taylor P.A., Tetzlaff G. and Teunissen H.W., 1988, The Askervein Hill Project: Vertical Profiles of Wind and Trubulence,Boundary-Layer Meteorol.43:143-169

Raithby G.D., Stubley G.D., Taylor P.A., 1987, The Askervein hill project: a finite control volume prediction on three-dimensional flows over the hill,Boundary-Layer Meteorol.39:107-132

Salmon J.R., Bowen A.J., Hoff A.M., Johnson R., Mickle R.E., Taylor P.A., Tetzlaff G. and Walmsley J.L., 1988, Mean Wind Variations at Fixed Heights Above the Ground,Boundary-Layer Meteorol.43:247-271

Silva Lopes A., Palma J.M.L.M. and Castro F.A., 2007, Simulation of the Askervein Flow. Part 2: Large-Eddy Simulations,Boundary-Layer Meteorol.125: 85-108

Taylor P. and Teunissen H., 1983, Askervein ’82: report on the September/October 1982 experiment to study boundary layer flow over Askervein, South Uist. Technical Report MSRS-83-8, Meteorological Services Research Branch, Atmospheric Environment Service, Downsview, Ontario, Canada, 172 pp. Available on-line at

Taylor P. and Teunissen H., 1985, The Askervein Hill Project: report on the September/October 1983, main field experiment. Technical Report MSRS-84-6, Meteorological Services Research Branch, Atmospheric Environment Service, Downsview, Ontario, Canada, 300 pp. Available on-line at .

Taylor P. and Teunissen H., 1987, The Askervein Hill Project: Overview and Background Data,Boundary-Layer Meteorol.39:15-39

Undheim O., Anderson H.I. and Berge E., 2006, Non-linear, microscale modelling of the flow over Askervein hill,Boundary-Layer Meteorol.120:477:495

Walmsley J. and Taylor P., 1996, Boundary-layer flow over topography: impacts of the Askervein studyBoundary-Layer Meteorol.78:291–320

Weng W. and Taylor P.A., 1992, A non-linear extension of the mixed spectral finite difference model for neutrally stratified boundary-layer flow over topography,Boundary-Layer Meteorol.59:177-186


Not applicable.