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Scalar fluxes from urban street canyons. Part I: Laboratory simulation

Barlow, J. F., Harman, I. N. and Belcher, S. E. (2004) Scalar fluxes from urban street canyons. Part I: Laboratory simulation. Boundary Layer Meteorology, 113 (3). pp. 369-385. ISSN 1573-1472

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10546-004-6204-8


Flow over urban surfaces depends on surface morphology and interaction with the boundary layer above. However, the effect of the flow on scalar fluxes is hard to quantify. The naphthalene sublimation technique was used to quantify scalar vertical fluxes out of a street canyon under neutral conditions. For an array of eight canyons with aspect ratio H/W=0.75 (here, H is building height and W is the street width), increased flux was observed in the first two or three canyons for moderate and low roughness upstream. This is consistent with predictions of the length scale for initial adjustment of flow to an urban canopy. The flux was constant after the initial adjustment region and thus dependent only on local geometry. For a street canyon in the ‘equilibrium’ part of the array, each facet of the street canyon was coated with naphthalene to simulate scalar release from street, walls and roof, to evaluate the effect of street canyon geometry on fluxes for H/W=0.25, 0.6, 1 and 2. Fluxes from the roof and downstream wall were considerably larger than fluxes from the street and upstream wall, and only the flux from the downstream wall exhibited a simple decrease with H/W. For each H/W there was a monotonic decrease between downstream wall, street and upstream wall transfer. This suggests that flow decelerates around the recirculation region in the lee of the upstream building, i.e. a recirculating jet rather than a symmetrical vortex. The addition of a second source within the street canyon resulted in reduced fluxes from each facet for H/W>0.25, due to increased concentration of naphthalene in the canyon air.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:5344
Additional Information:0006-8314 Monthly: 9-14 issues per year Kluwer Academic Publishers English

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