Journal Highlights

A Kolmogorov-Brutsaert Structure Function Model for Evaporation into a Turbulent Atmosphere

Editors’ Highlight—

This manuscript investigates, elaborates on, and extends the model of evaporation from rough surfaces presented in Brutsaert (1965). First the surface renewal theory’s main elements are rederived using a simpler approach, then a new conceptual framework is presented and results in the same results. The new approach relies on an exchange velocity assumed to be related to the vertical velocity, more precisely the structure function of the vertical velocity. This work shows that an original mechanistic (and perhaps deemed old-fashioned in modern turbulence theory) result is more robust than might be thought, by using the fundamental Kolmogorov structure function of stochastic turbulence theory. It thus presents a new understanding of well-established measurement data that yields insights about turbulent shear flow and associated exchange of gases. While this paper is more focused on the details of turbulence at very small scales than at the larger scales considered by most hydrologists, it develops our fundamental knowledge of the evaporation process.