Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 129–143 | Cite as

The Modelling of Turbulence from Traffic in Urban Dispersion Models — Part I: Theoretical Considerations

  • S. Di SabatinoEmail author
  • P. Kastner-Klein
  • R. Berkowicz
  • R.E. Britter
  • E. Fedorovich


The modelling of pollutant dispersion at the street scale in an urban environment requires the knowledge of turbulence generated by the traffic motion in streets. In this paper, a theoretical framework to estimate mechanical turbulence induced by traffic in street canyons at low wind speed conditions is established. The standard deviation of the velocity fluctuations is adopted as a measure of traffic-produced turbulence (TPT). Based on the balance between turbulent kinetic energy production and dissipation, three different parameterisations for TPT suitable for different traffic flow conditions are derived and discussed. These formulae rely on the calculations of constants that need to be estimated on the basis of experimental data. One such estimate has been made with the help of a wind tunnel data set corresponding to intermediate traffic densities, which is the most common regime, with interacting vehicle wakes.

dispersion modelling low wind conditions pollutant dispersion street canyon traffic-produced turbulence urban areas 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Di Sabatino
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • P. Kastner-Klein
    • 4
    • 5
  • R. Berkowicz
    • 6
  • R.E. Britter
    • 1
  • E. Fedorovich
    • 4
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of EngineeringUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeU.K
  2. 2.Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants LtdCambridgeU.K
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienza dei MaterialiUniversity of LecceLecceItaly
  4. 4.School of MeteorologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanU.S.A
  5. 5.Institute for Climate Research ETH Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZurichSwitzerland
  6. 6.Department of Atmospheric EnvironmentNational Environmental Research InstituteRoskildeDenmark
  7. 7.Institute for HydromechanicsUniversity of KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany

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