The effects of building representation and clustering in large-eddy simulations of flows in urban canopies

Elie R. Bou-Zeid, Jan Overney, Benedict D. Rogers, Marc B. Parlange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

We perform large-eddy simulations of neutral atmospheric boundary-layer flow over a cluster of buildings surrounded by relatively flat terrain. The first investigated question is the effect of the level of building detail that can be included in the numerical model, a topic not yet addressed by any previous study. The simplest representation is found to give similar results to more refined representations for the mean flow, but not for turbulence. The wind direction on the other hand is found to be important for both mean and turbulent parameters. As many suburban areas are characterised by the clustering of buildings and homes into small areas separated by surfaces of lower roughness, we look at the adjustment of the atmospheric surface layer as it flows from the smoother terrain to the built-up area. This transition has unexpected impacts on the flow; mainly, a zone of global backscatter (energy transfer from the turbulent eddies to the mean flow) is found at the upstream edge of the built-up area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-436
Number of pages22
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Volume132
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Keywords

  • Building representation
  • Global backscatter
  • Heterogeneous terrain
  • Surface roughness
  • Turbulent kinetic energy
  • Urban boundary layer
  • Urban canopy

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