Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 167–177 | Cite as

Effect of street geometrical layout on dispersion emissions of traffic exhaust: experimental simulation

  • Mohamed F. Yassin
  • Masaake Ohba
Original Paper


Pollutants dispersion emitted from road traffic is a dominant source of urban air pollution. Therefore, it is necessary to quantify emission levels in urban street canyon to evaluate their impacts on the public health and the environment. In this article, we study the effect of different street geometrical layouts on dispersion emissions of traffic exhausts for winds perpendicular to the roadway. A wind tunnel experiment modeling three different street geometrical layouts was executed to examine the flow fields and the concentration distributions in urban canyon. The flow and pollutants concentration were measured using a hot-wire anemometer with a split-fiber probe and a fast flame ionization detector under neutral atmospheric conditions. Flow and Dispersion characteristics were studied that included mean velocity, turbulence intensity, Reynolds stress, turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), mean concentrations, and fluctuation intensity of concentration in the street canyon. The results show that the vertical velocity and turbulent energy increases as the aspect ratio increases. The pollutant concentration increases as the aspect ratio decreases. The concentration fluctuation intensities of the aspect ratio W/H = 1 was found lower than that of the aspect ratios W/H = ½ and ¾. The pollutant concentration at the leeward side of the aspect ratios W/H = ¾ and 1 was higher than that in the aspect ratios W/H = ½. The pollutant concentration distributions measured in the experiment indicates that the variability of the street geometrical layouts in urban environment are important parameters for estimating air quality in the urban canyon.


Atmospheric turbulence Geometrical layouts Pollutant dispersion Street canyon Wind tunnel 


  1. Abo-Qudais S, Abu Qdais H (2005) Performance evaluation of vehicles emissions prediction models. Clean Technol Environ Policy 7(4):279–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmed K, Khare M, Chaudhry KK (2005) Wind tunnel simulation studies on dispersion at urban street canyon and intersections—a review. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 93:697–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bady M, Kato S, Takahashi T, Huang H (2011) An experimental investigation of the wind environment and air quality within a densely populated urban street canyon. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 99(8):857–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boerner T, Leutheusser HJ (1984) Calibration of split fiber probe for use in bubby two-phase flow. DISA Inf 29:10–13Google Scholar
  5. Buccolieri B, Gromke C, Sabatino SD, Ruck B (2009) Aerodynamic effects of trees on pollutant concentration in street canyons. Sci Total Environ 407(19):5247–5256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Builtjes PJH (1984) Determination of flow- and concentration-filed in a street canyon by means of wind tunnel experiments. TNO Report No. 84-02616, Apeldoorn, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  7. Dabberdt WF, Hoydysh WG (1991) Street canyon dispersion: sensitivity to block shape and entrainment. Atmospheric Environ 25(7):1143–1153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davidson MJ, Snyder WH, Lawson JR, Myline KR (1992) Wind tunnel and field investigations into plume dispersion through an array of obstacle In: Proceedings of the 11th Australasian fluid mechanics conference, HobartGoogle Scholar
  9. Gerdes F, Olivari D (1999) Analysis of pollutant dispersion in an urban street canyon. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 82(1–3):105–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gromke C, Ruck B (2007) Influence of trees on the dispersion of pollutants in an urban street canyon—experimental investigation of the flow and concentration field. Atmospheric Environ 41:3287–3302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gromke C, Ruck B (2009) On the impact of trees on dispersion processes of traffic emissions in street canyons. Boundary Layer Meteorol 131:19–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gromke C, Ruck B (2012) Pollutant concentrations in street canyons of different aspect ratio with avenues of trees for various wind directions. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 144(1):41–64Google Scholar
  13. Heist DK, Perry SG, Brixey LA (2009) A wind tunnel study of the effect of roadway configurations on the dispersion of traffic-related pollution. Atmospheric Environ 43:5101–5111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hosker RP, Pendergrass WR (1987) Flow and dispersion near clusters of buildings. NOAA technical memorandom ERL-ARL-153. Department of Commerce, USAGoogle Scholar
  15. Hoydysh WG, Dabberdt WF (1988) Kinematics and dispersion characteristics of flows in asymmetric street canyons. Atmospheric Environ 22(12):2667–2689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hoydysh WG, Dabberdt WF (1994) Concentration fields at urban intersections: fluid modeling studies. Atmospheric Environ 28(11):1849–1860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hoydysh WG, Dabberdt WF, Schorling M, Yang F, Holynskyj O (1995) Dispersion modeling at urban intersections. Sci Total Environ 169:93–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huang Y, Hu X, Zeng N (2009) Impact of wedge-shaped roofs on airflow and pollutant dispersion inside urban street canyons. Build Environ 44:2335–2347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Karra S, Malki-Epshtein L, Neophytou M (2012) The dispersion of traffic related pollutants across a non-homogeneous street canyon. Procedia Environ Sci 4:25–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kastner-Klein P, Plate EJ (1999) Wind tunnel study of concentration fields in street canyon. Atmospheric Environ 33:3973–3979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kastner-Klein P, Fedorovich E, Rotach MW (2001) A wind tunnel study of organized and turbulent sir motions in urban street canyons. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 89:849–861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kiya M, Sasaki K (1983) Structure of turbulent separation bubble. J Fluid Mech 137:83–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li X, Dennis Y, Leung C, Liu C (2008) Physical modeling of flow inside urban street canyon. J Meteorol Climatol 47:2058–2066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Meroney RN, Pavageau M, Rafailidis S, Schatzmann M (1996) Study of line source characteristics for 2-d physical modeling of pollutant dispersion in street canyons. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 62:37–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mfula AM, Kukadia V, Griffiths RF, Hall DJ (2005) Wind tunnel modeling of urban building exposure to outdoor pollution. Atmospheric Environ 39:2737–2745CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nagendra SMS, Khare M (2005) Modelling urban air quality using artificial neural network. Clean Technol Environ Policy 7(2):116–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Park S, Kim S, Lee H (2004) Dispersion characteristics of vehicle emission in an urban street canyon. Sci Total Environ 323:263–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pavageau M, Schatzmann M (1999) Wind tunnel measurements of concentration fluctuation in an urban street canopy. Atmospheric Environ 33:3961–3971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Richmond-Bryant J, Reff A (2012) Air pollution retention within a complex of urban street canyons: a two-city comparison. Atmospheric Environ 49:24–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Robins A, Savory E, Scaperdas A, Grigoriadis D (2002) Spatial variability and source–receptor relations at a street intersection. Water Air Soil Pollut 2:381–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sagrado APG, Beeck JV, Rambaud P, Olivari D (2002) Numerical and experimental modelling of pollutant dispersion in a street canyon. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 90(4–5):321–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Salizzoni P, Soulhac L, Mejean P (2009) Street canyon ventilation and atmospheric turbulence. Atmospheric Environ 43(32):5056–5067Google Scholar
  33. Simoens S, Ayrault M, Wallace J (2007) The flow across a street canyon of variable width—Part 1. Kinematic description. Atmospheric Environ 41:9002–9017CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Simoens S, Ayrault M, Wallace J (2008) The flow across a street canyon of variable width—Part 1. Scalar dispersion from a street level line source. Atmospheric Environ 42:2489–2503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Smalley RJ, Boddy JW, Dixon NS, Tomlin AS (2008) The influence of background wind direction on the roadside turbulent velocity field within a complex urban street. Q J Royal Meteorol Soc 134(635):1371–1384Google Scholar
  36. Thompson RS (1993) Building amplification factors for sources near buildings—a wind-tunnel study. Atmospheric Environ Part A 27:2313–2325Google Scholar
  37. Xie X, Wang J, Huang Z (2009) Traffic emission transportation in street canyons. J Hydrodyn 21(1):108–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Technology and ManagementKuwait UniversityKuwait, SafatKuwait
  2. 2.Faculty of EngineeringAssiut UniversityAssiutEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Architecture EngineeringTokyo Polytechnic UniversityIiyamaJapan

Personalised recommendations