, Volume 140, Issue 2, pp 295-314

Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements of Turbulent Flow Within Outdoor and Indoor Urban Scale Models and Flushing Motions in Urban Canopy Layers

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We investigate the spatial characteristics of urban-like canopy flow by applying particle image velocimetry (PIV) to atmospheric turbulence. The study site was a Comprehensive Outdoor Scale MOdel (COSMO) experiment for urban climate in Japan. The PIV system captured the two-dimensional flow field within the canopy layer continuously for an hour with a sampling frequency of 30 Hz, thereby providing reliable outdoor turbulence statistics. PIV measurements in a wind-tunnel facility using similar roughness geometry, but with a lower sampling frequency of 4 Hz, were also done for comparison. The turbulent momentum flux from COSMO, and the wind tunnel showed similar values and distributions when scaled using friction velocity. Some different characteristics between outdoor and indoor flow fields were mainly caused by the larger fluctuations in wind direction for the atmospheric turbulence. The focus of the analysis is on a variety of instantaneous turbulent flow structures. One remarkable flow structure is termed ‘flushing’, that is, a large-scale upward motion prevailing across the whole vertical cross-section of a building gap. This is observed intermittently, whereby tracer particles are flushed vertically out from the canopy layer. Flushing phenomena are also observed in the wind tunnel where there is neither thermal stratification nor outer-layer turbulence. It is suggested that flushing phenomena are correlated with the passing of large-scale low-momentum regions above the canopy.