Gradient of Ground Temperature in Response to Cold Winds

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In the fall, winds cool the ground. This Demonstration shows the evolution of the ground temperature profile versus time (in seconds) for various values of thermal diffusivity (expressed in ), convective heat transfer coefficient (expressed in ), and heat conduction coefficient (expressed in ).


The temperature of the ground is assumed to be initially at 15.6°C and the cold wave reduces the temperature of the air to -17.8°C. The problem is that of an unsteady-state heat conduction in a semi-infinite solid, which has the analytic solution given in [1]. The color gradation from blue to red represents the gradient of ground temperature.


Contributed by: Housam Binous and Ahmed Bellagi (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



[1] C. J. Geankoplis, Transport Processes and Unit Operation, 3rd ed., Englewood Cliffs: Prentice–Hall, 1993.

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