Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 154, Issue 3, pp 427–448 | Cite as

Interfacing the Urban Land–Atmosphere System Through Coupled Urban Canopy and Atmospheric Models

  • Jiyun Song
  • Zhi-Hua WangEmail author


We couple a single column model (SCM) to a cutting-edge single-layer urban canopy model (SLUCM) with realistic representation of urban hydrological processes. The land-surface transport of energy and moisture parametrized by the SLUCM provides lower boundary conditions to the overlying atmosphere. The coupled SLUCM–SCM model is tested against field measurements of sensible and latent heat fluxes in the surface layer, as well as vertical profiles of temperature and humidity in the mixed layer under convective conditions. The model is then used to simulate urban land–atmosphere interactions by changing urban geometry, surface albedo, vegetation fraction and aerodynamic roughness. Results show that changes of landscape characteristics have a significant impact on the growth of the boundary layer as well as on the distributions of temperature and humidity in the mixed layer. Overall, the proposed numerical framework provides a useful stand-alone modelling tool, with which the impact of urban land-surface conditions on the local hydrometeorology can be assessed via land–atmosphere interactions.


Land–atmosphere interactions Land-use land-cover changes Single column atmospheric model Urban canopy model Urban planning 



This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant number CBET-1435881. The authors thank the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) project under NSF grant CAP3: BCS-1026865, for partial financial support and sharing of field measurements in Phoenix. Field measurement by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program (2011) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Climate and Environmental Sciences Division is acknowledged.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built EnvironmentArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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