Experimental Analysis of Wind Interaction with Olive Grove and the Atmospheric Surface Boundary Layer
The emblematic olive grove covers 17% of the South Spain territory. Last years, intensive farming has been developed around its exploitation. This causes many environmental and social problems, ecological interactions and environmental variables are modified, accentuating the climate change effects. The aim of this work is optimize the layout to allow a sustainable agricultural production, adapting the exploitation to the climate change and minimizing alterations over environmental variables. Thus, interaction between the Surface Boundary Layer (SBL) and olive groves has been analyzed experimentally. Wind tunnel reduced-scale tests were carried out for different setups: grid with homogeneous tree models, over a flat surface and over a hill, and simulating different vegetation covers. The same tests were replicated with staggered pattern and heterogeneous tree models. Wind velocity and turbulence kinetic energy profiles were obtained using Hot Wire Anemometry, taking measurements between models and behind them. It has been proved that olive grove spatial layout and the presence or absence of vegetation cover modify the SBL dynamics. Consequently, not only fundamental environmental variables are altered, for example, the moisture flux and the evapotranspiration, but also important variables for human health are modified, as pollen flow dispersion to urban areas.
Keywords: Olive grove, environmental management, sustainability, wind tunnel