Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 229–242 | Cite as

Tracer Flux Balance at an Urban Canyon Intersection

  • Matteo CarpentieriEmail author
  • Alan G. Robins


Despite their importance for pollutant dispersion in urban areas, the special features of dispersion at street intersections are rarely taken into account by operational air quality models. Several previous studies have demonstrated the complex flow patterns that occur at street intersections, even with simple geometry. This study presents results from wind-tunnel experiments on a reduced scale model of a complex but realistic urban intersection, located in central London. Tracer concentration measurements were used to derive three-dimensional maps of the concentration field within the intersection. In combination with a previous study (Carpentieri et al., Boundary-Layer Meteorol 133:277–296, 2009) where the velocity field was measured in the same model, a methodology for the calculation of the mean tracer flux balance at the intersection was developed and applied. The calculation highlighted several limitations of current state-of-the-art canyon dispersion models, arising mainly from the complex geometry of the intersection. Despite its limitations, the proposed methodology could be further developed in order to derive, assess and implement street intersection dispersion models for complex urban areas.


Flame ionisation detector Flux balance Street intersection Urban canyon Wind tunnel 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EnFlo, Faculty of Engineering and Physical SciencesUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK

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