Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 449–472 | Cite as

Turbulence characteristics in a near neutrally stratified urban atmosphere

  • Ulf Högström
  • Hans Bergström
  • Hans Alexandersson


Turbulence measurements from the city of Uppsala, Sweden, are analysed. Measurements were taken at two sites: one in the central area, ca. 6 m above roof level, the average building height being ca. 15 m; the other at ca. 8 and 50 m above the ground on a tower situated 100 m downwind of a sharp discontinuity between the densely built-up urban area and flat grass-covered land. The average stability was close to neutral, the range being -0.2 < z/L < 0.2. The main emphasis of the study is on the non-dimensional standard deviations of the velocity components Σ i /u*t and on the corresponding non-dimensional energy spectra, u*t being a local velocity scale defined as √Τ i /ρ(Τ l is the local momentum flux). Comparison with results obtained from surface-layer measurements at ‘ideal sites’ (with u*, being the ordinary friction velocity) shows good general agreement. The most complete agreement is found for the tower 50 m measurements, a result which is notable as this measurement point is found to be within a distinctly transitional zone between the urban and post-urban boundary layers. The results from the central city measurement point are also fairly close to the ‘ideal’ results, the deviations found being small in view of the fact that the site is probably inside the layer in which the roughness elements (the buildings) have direct influence. The measurements at the tower 8 m level show certain distinct deviations from ideal results: all three Σ i /u*l, are higher by ca. 10%, the excessive energy being found at the low frequency end of the spectrum. Arguments are presented for this feature to be due to a spectral lag effect.


Roughness Element Building Height Urban Atmosphere Average Stability Roof Level 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulf Högström
    • 1
  • Hans Bergström
    • 1
  • Hans Alexandersson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MeteorologyUppsalaSweden

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