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Wind observations above an urban river using a new lidar technique, scintillometry and anemometry

Wood, C. R., Pauscher, L., Ward, H. C., Kotthaus, S., Barlow, J., Gouvea, M., Lane, S. E. and Grimmond, C. S. B. ORCID: (2013) Wind observations above an urban river using a new lidar technique, scintillometry and anemometry. Science of the Total Environment, 442. pp. 527-533. ISSN 0048-9697

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.10.061


Flow along rivers, an integral part of many cities, might provide a key mechanism for ventilation – which is important for air quality and heat stress. Since the flow varies in space and time around rivers, there is limited utility in point measurements. Ground-based remote sensing offers the opportunity to study 3D flow in locations which are hard to observe. For three months in the winter and spring of 2011, the atmospheric flow above the River Thames in central London was observed using a scanning Doppler lidar, a dual-beam scintillometer and sonic anemometry. First, an inter-comparison showed that lidar-derived mean wind-speed estimates compare almost as well to sonic anemometers (root-mean-square error (rmse) 0.65–0.68 m s–1) as comparisons between sonic anemometers (0.35–0.73 m s–1). Second, the lidar duo-beam scanning strategy provided horizontal transects of wind vectors comparison with scintillometer rmse 1.12–1.63 m s–1) which revealed mean and turbulent flow across the river and surrounds; in particular: chanelling flow along the river and turbulence changes consistent with the roughness changes between built to river environments. The results have important consequences for air quality and dispersion around urban rivers, especially given that many cities have high traffic rates on bankside roads.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:28978
Uncontrolled Keywords:Scanning Doppler lidar; roughness sub-layer; instrument comparison; urban climate; micro-meteorology; sonic anemometry


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