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Friction velocity estimation from the Reynold stress tensor

version 1.4 (961 KB) by E. Cheynet
The friction velocity is computed from sonic anemometer data without the need to correct tilt angle errors


Updated 02 May 2020

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The friction velocity is computed using a Matlab implementation of the method proposed by Klipp [1]. This method has the advantage to avoid the correction of instrument tilt by using the Reynolds stress tensor invariants. In [1], the friction velocity calculated for neutral conditions is found to be in good agreement with the standard method. Larger discrepancies are expected for non-neutral conditions or low wind speeds but produce a dimensionless shear that scales well with the non-dimensional Obukhov length. Type of application: Micrometeorology, surface layer turbulence.


The present Matlab submission contains:

- A function "frictionVelocity.m", which computes the friction velocity using the standard method or the one proposed in [1]. The latter method is more appropriate in complex terrain and a neutral atmosphere.
- An example file "Example1.mlx" that compares the 2 methods
- A data file "data.mat" that contains simulated wind turbulent velocity records


[1] Klipp, C. (2018). Turbulent friction velocity calculated from the Reynolds stress tensor. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, (2018).

Cite As

E. Cheynet (2020). Friction velocity estimation from the Reynold stress tensor (, GitHub. Retrieved .

E. Cheynet. ECheynet/Klipp2018 v1.4. Zenodo, 2020, doi:10.5281/ZENODO.3782792.

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See release notes for this release on GitHub:


See release notes for this release on GitHub:


New Example file created + modification of the main function


Added the project website


Summary updated

Typo in Example.m


MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2019b
Compatible with R2014b to any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux