Referencing of street-level flows measured during the DAPPLE 2004 campaign
Barlow, J. F., Dobre, A., Smalley, R. J., Arnold, S. J., Tomlin, A. S. and Belcher, S. E. (2009) Referencing of street-level flows measured during the DAPPLE 2004 campaign. Atmospheric Environment, 43 (34). pp. 5536-5544. ISSN 1352-2310
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.05.021
Street-level mean flow and turbulence govern the dispersion of gases away from their sources in urban areas. A suitable reference measurement in the driving flow above the urban canopy is needed to both understand and model complex street-level flow for pollutant dispersion or emergency response purposes. In vegetation canopies, a reference at mean canopy height is often used, but it is unclear whether this is suitable for urban canopies. This paper presents an evaluation of the quality of reference measurements at both roof-top (height = H) and at height z = 9H = 190 m, and their ability to explain mean and turbulent variations of street-level flow. Fast response wind data were measured at street canyon and reference sites during the six-week long DAPPLE project field campaign in spring 2004, in central London, UK, and an averaging time of 10 min was used to distinguish recirculation-type mean flow patterns from turbulence. Flow distortion at each reference site was assessed by considering turbulence intensity and streamline deflection. Then each reference was used as the dependent variable in the model of Dobre et al. (2005) which decomposes street-level flow into channelling and recirculating components. The high reference explained more of the variability of the mean flow. Coupling of turbulent kinetic energy was also stronger between street-level and the high reference flow rather than the roof-top. This coupling was weaker when overnight flow was stratified, and turbulence was suppressed at the high reference site. However, such events were rare (<1% of data) over the six-week long period. The potential usefulness of a centralised, high reference site in London was thus demonstrated with application to emergency response and air quality modelling.