Environmental Modeling & Assessment

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 221–248 | Cite as

An Urban Atmospheric Diffusion Model for Traffic-Related Emission Based on Mass-Conservation and Advection-Diffusion Equations

  • Isao KandaEmail author
  • Yukio Yamao
  • Toshimasa Ohara
  • Kiyoshi Uehara


This paper proposes an atmospheric diffusion model for traffic-related emission in urban areas within a few hundred meters from relevant roads. The model adopts the mass-conservation (MC) principle for the velocity calculation and the advection-diffusion (AD) equation for the concentration calculation. This MC+AD combination was chosen to achieve fast calculation for complex geometries. To compensate for the inherent deficiencies of MC and AD, as many known properties possible of turbulent boundary-layer flow over obstacles are incorporated into the MC calculation, and the diffusivity in AD is derived from the velocity spectrum as a function of distance from the emission source. The model is evaluated against wind-tunnel experiments ranging from point-source emission in uniform urban canopy to along-road emission in real city geometries. The model performs well in relatively simple configurations, but the performance deteriorates considerably as the complexity increases. However, in real city geometries, the model exhibits distinctly better performance in terms of statistical indices than a conventional Gaussian-plume model that neglects the effect of individual buildings. The model is therefore a viable option for environmental assessment.


Air pollution Automobile Diffusion Spectrum Wind tunnel 



The work was conducted as a part of the SORA project administered by the Japanese Ministry of Environment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isao Kanda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yukio Yamao
    • 1
  • Toshimasa Ohara
    • 1
  • Kiyoshi Uehara
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan

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