Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 157–187 | Cite as

Modelling Pollutant Dispersion in a Street Network

  • N. Ben Salem
  • V. Garbero
  • P. SalizzoniEmail author
  • G. Lamaison
  • L. Soulhac


This study constitutes a further step in the analysis of the performances of a street network model to simulate atmospheric pollutant dispersion in urban areas. The model, named SIRANE, is based on the decomposition of the urban atmosphere into two sub-domains: the urban boundary layer, whose dynamics is assumed to be well established, and the urban canopy, represented as a series of interconnected boxes. Parametric laws govern the mass exchanges between the boxes under the assumption that the pollutant dispersion within the canopy can be fully simulated by modelling three main bulk transfer phenomena: channelling along street axes, transfers at street intersections, and vertical exchange between street canyons and the overlying atmosphere. Here, we aim to evaluate the reliability of the parametrizations adopted to simulate these phenomena, by focusing on their possible dependence on the external wind direction. To this end, we test the model against concentration measurements within an idealized urban district whose geometrical layout closely matches the street network represented in SIRANE. The analysis is performed for an urban array with a fixed geometry and a varying wind incidence angle. The results show that the model provides generally good results with the reference parametrizations adopted in SIRANE and that its performances are quite robust for a wide range of the model parameters. This proves the reliability of the street network approach in simulating pollutant dispersion in densely built city districts. The results also show that the model performances may be improved by considering a dependence of the wind fluctuations at street intersections and of the vertical exchange velocity on the direction of the incident wind. This opens the way for further investigations to clarify the dependence of these parameters on wind direction and street aspect ratios.


Dispersion models Street network Urban air pollution Wind-tunnel experiments 



This study was supported by the French ANR (AIR-Q project 2012-14), by the Region Rhône Alpes and by Regione Piemonte via the project “AirToLiMi: Modelling and simulating sustainable mobility strategies. A study of three real test cases: Turin, Lyon, Milan” (CIPE 2006).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Ben Salem
    • 1
  • V. Garbero
    • 2
    • 3
  • P. Salizzoni
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Lamaison
    • 1
  • L. Soulhac
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d’Acoustique, UMR CNRS 5509, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, INSA Lyon, Université ClaudeUniversity of LyonEcullyFrance
  2. 2.Dipartimento di MatematicaPolitecnico di TorinoTurinItaly
  3. 3.Sistemi PrevisionaliArpa PiemonteTurinItaly

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