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Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 146, Issue 3, pp 469–496 | Cite as

Intra-City Variation in Urban Morphology and Turbulence Structure in Helsinki, Finland

  • Annika Nordbo
  • Leena Järvi
  • Sami Haapanala
  • Joonas Moilanen
  • Timo Vesala
Article

Abstract

Most atmospheric boundary-layer theories are developed over vegetative surfaces and their applicability at urban sites is questionable. Here, we study the intra-city variation of turbulence characteristics and the applicability of boundary-layer theory using building-morphology data across Helsinki, and eddy-covariance data from three sites: two in central Helsinki (400 m apart) and one 4 km away from the city centre. The multi-site measurements enable the analysis of the horizontal scales at which quantities that characterize turbulent transport vary: (i) Roughness characteristics vary at a 10-m scale, and morphometric estimation of surface-roughness characteristics is shown to perform better than the often used rule-of-thumb estimates (average departures from the logarithmic wind profile are 14 and 44 %, respectively). (ii) The drag coefficient varies at a 100-m scale, and we provide an updated parametrization of the drag coefficient as a function of z/z H (the ratio of the measurement height to the mean building height). (iii) The transport efficiency of heat, water vapour and CO2 is shown to be weaker the more heterogeneous the site is, in terms of sources and sinks, and strong scalar dissimilarity is observed at all sites. (iv) Atmospheric stability varies markedly even within 4 km across the city: the median difference in nocturnal sensible heat fluxes between the three sites was over 50W m−2. Furthermore, (v) normalized power spectra and cospectra do not vary between sites, and they follow roughly the canonical theory as developed over vegetated terrain.

Keywords

Drag Eddy covariance Roughness Turbulence Urban site 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annika Nordbo
    • 1
  • Leena Järvi
    • 1
  • Sami Haapanala
    • 1
  • Joonas Moilanen
    • 1
  • Timo Vesala
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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