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Scalar Fluxes from Urban Street Canyons Part II: Model

Harman, I.N., Barlow, J.F. and Belcher, S.E. (2004) Scalar Fluxes from Urban Street Canyons Part II: Model. Boundary Layer Meteorology, 113 (3). pp. 387-410. ISSN 1573-1472

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10546-004-6205-7


A practical model is developed for the vertical flux of a scalar, such as heat, from an urban street canyon that accounts for variations of the flow and turbulence with canyon geometry. The model gives the magnitude and geometric dependence of the flux from each facet of the urban street canyon, and is shown to agree well with wind-tunnel measurements described in Part I. The geometric dependence of the flux from an urban street canyon is shown to be determined by two physical processes. Firstly, as the height-to-width ratio of the street canyon increases, so does the roughness length and displacement height of the surface. This increase leads to a reduction in the wind speed in the inertial sublayer above the street canyons. Since the speed of the circulations in the street are proportional to this inertial sublayer wind speed, the flux then reduces with the inertial sublayer wind speed. This process is dominant at low height-to-width ratios. Secondly, the character of the circulations within the street canyon also varies as the height-to-width ratio increases. The flow in the street is partitioned into a recirculation region and a ventilated region. When the street canyon has high height-to-width ratios the recirculation region occupies the whole street canyon and the wind speeds within the street are low. This tendency decreases the flux at high height-to-width ratios. These processes tend to reduce the flux density from the individual facets of the street canyon, when compared to the flux density from a horizontal surface of the same material. But the street canyon has an increased total surface area, which means that the total flux from the street canyon is larger than from a horizontal surface. The variations in scalar flux from an urban street canyon with geometry is over a factor of two, which means that the physical mechanisms responsible should be incorporated into energy balance models for urban areas.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:5338
Additional Information:0006-8314 Monthly: 9-14 issues per year Kluwer Academic Publishers English

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