Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 122, Issue 2, pp 293–320 | Cite as

Experimental study of the transfer velocity for urban surfaces with a water evaporation method

  • Ken-ichi Narita
Original Paper


A major problem in urban climate modelling is determining how the heat fluxes from various canyon surfaces are affected by canyon flow. To address this problem, we developed a water evaporation method involving filter paper to study the distribution of the convective transfer velocity in urban street canyons. In this method, filter paper is pasted onto a building model and the evaporation rate from the paper is measured with an electric balance. The method was tested on 2D (two-dimensional) street canyon models and 3D model arrangements. Moreover, in this technique, it is easy to restrict the flux within an arbitrary surface in question. That is, the evaporation distribution on a surface can be studied by using several small pieces of filter paper. In the 2D case, the wall transfer velocity was strongly dependent on the canyon aspect ratio for perpendicular wind directions and it varied widely with height within both windward and leeward wall surfaces. For 3D cubic arrays, the relation to canyon aspect ratio was largely different from that of the 2D canyon. And, as a case study, the variation of wind direction was investigated for a city-like setting. The area-averaged transfer velocity was insensitive to wind direction but its local deviation was significant. Finally, we measured the transfer velocity for a clustered block array surrounded by relatively wide streets. The effect of spatial heterogeneity on the transfer velocity was significant. Moreover, for a fixed total building volume, the transfer velocity was considerably larger when the building height varied than when it was uniform. Therefore, the water evaporation method with filter paper is expected to be useful for studying the transfer velocity and ventilation rates in urban areas with various canyon shapes.


Sensible heat flux Spatial heterogeneity Turbulent transfer Urban canopy layer Urban climate 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EngineeringNippon Institute of TechnologyMiyashiroJapan

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