Lagrangian Coherent Structure Analysis of Terminal Winds: Three-Dimensionality, Intramodel Variations, and Flight Analyses

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We present a study of three-dimensional Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS) near the Hong Kong International Airport and relate to previous developments of two-dimensional (2D) LCS analyses. The LCS are contrasted

We present a study of three-dimensional Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS) near the Hong Kong International Airport and relate to previous developments of two-dimensional (2D) LCS analyses. The LCS are contrasted among three independent models and against 2D coherent Doppler light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data. Addition of the velocity information perpendicular to the LIDAR scanning cone helps solidify flow structures inferred from previous studies; contrast among models reveals the intramodel variability; and comparison with flight data evaluates the performance among models in terms of Lagrangian analyses. We find that, while the three models and the LIDAR do recover similar features of the windshear experienced by a landing aircraft (along the landing trajectory), their Lagrangian signatures over the entire domain are quite different—a portion of each numerical model captures certain features resembling those LCS extracted from independent 2D LIDAR analyses based on observations.