Effect of real-time boundary wind conditions on the air flow and pollutant dispersion in an urban street canyon-Large eddy simulations

Yun Wei Zhang, Zhao Lin Gu, Yan Cheng, Shuncheng Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Air flow and pollutant dispersion characteristics in an urban street canyon are studied under the real-time boundary conditions. A new scheme for realizing real-time boundary conditions in simulations is proposed, to keep the upper boundary wind conditions consistent with the measured time series of wind data. The air flow structure and its evolution under real-time boundary wind conditions are simulated by using this new scheme. The induced effect of time series of ambient wind conditions on the flow structures inside and above the street canyon is investigated. The flow shows an obvious intermittent feature in the street canyon and the flapping of the shear layer forms near the roof layer under real-time wind conditions, resulting in the expansion or compression of the air mass in the canyon. The simulations of pollutant dispersion show that the pollutants inside and above the street canyon are transported by different dispersion mechanisms, relying on the time series of air flow structures. Large scale air movements in the processes of the air mass expansion or compression in the canyon exhibit obvious effects on pollutant dispersion. The simulations of pollutant dispersion also show that the transport of pollutants from the canyon to the upper air flow is dominated by the shear layer turbulence near the roof level and the expansion or compression of the air mass in street canyon under real-time boundary wind conditions. Especially, the expansion of the air mass, which features the large scale air movement of the air mass, makes more contribution to the pollutant dispersion in this study. Comparisons of simulated results under different boundary wind conditions indicate that real-time boundary wind conditions produces better condition for pollutant dispersion than the artificially-designed steady boundary wind conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3352-3359
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • Air flow
  • Boundary condition
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Pollutant dispersion
  • Street canyon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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