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The nocturnal drainage flow of air causes significant uncertainty in ecosystem CO2, H2O, and energy budgets determined with the eddy covariance measurement approach. In this study, we examined the magnitude, nature, and dynamics of the nocturnal drainage flow in a subalpine forest ecosystem with complex terrain. We used an experimental approach involving four towers, each with vertical profiling of wind speed to measure the magnitude of drainage flows and dynamics in their occurrence. We developed an analytical drainage flow model, constrained with measurements of canopy structure and SF6 diffusion, to help us interpret the tower profile results. Model predictions were in good agreement with observed profiles of...