Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

pp 11262-11291

Urban Air Quality : Meteorological Processes

  • David CarruthersAffiliated withCambridge Environmental Research Consultants Email author 
  • , Silvana Di SabatinoAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Università del Salento
  • , Julian HuntAffiliated withUniversity College London

Definition of the Subject

Meteorological processes in urban areas that are relevant to urban air quality. Of most significance are the impacts of the urban morphology on the mean flow and turbulence, which determines the transport and dispersion of pollutants and therefore their concentration.


Concentrations of pollutants within an urban area depend on a number of different factors. These include the emissions of pollutants within the urban area, pollutant concentrations transported into the area, and the meteorology within the urban area, in particular, the mean airflow and turbulence (which determines the movement and mixing of the emitted pollutants) and the temperature and solar insolation (which impacts on chemical transformation taking place). This entry discusses meteorology within the urban area with the focus being on the mean flow and turbulence, as these may be subs ...

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