Computational Fluid Dynamics Modelling of the Diurnal Variation of Flow in a Street Canyon

Kyung Hwan Kwak, Jong Jin Baik, Sang Hyun Lee, Young Hee Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urban surface and radiation processes are incorporated into a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to investigate the diurnal variation of flow in a street canyon with an aspect ratio of 1. The developed CFD model predicts surface and substrate temperatures of the roof, walls, and road. One-day simulations are performed with various ambient wind speeds of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 ms-1, with the ambient wind perpendicular to the north-south oriented canyon. During the day, the largest maximum surface temperature for all surfaces is found at the road surface for an ambient wind speed of 3 ms-1 (56.0°C). Two flow regimes are identified by the vortex configuration in the street canyon. Flow regime I is characterized by a primary vortex. Flow regime II is characterized by two counter-rotating vortices, which appears in the presence of strong downwind building-wall heating. Air temperature is relatively low near the downwind building wall in flow regime I and inside the upper vortex in flow regime II. In flow regime II, the upper vortex expands with increasing ambient wind speed, thus enlarging the extent of cool air within the canyon. The canyon wind speed in flow regime II is proportional to the ambient wind speed, but that in flow regime I is not. For weak ambient winds, the dependency of surface sensible heat flux on the ambient wind speed is found to play an essential role in determining the relationship between canyon wind speed and ambient wind speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The authors are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for providing valuable comments that led to improvements in the original manuscript. This work was funded by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant RACS 2010–4005 and by the Brain Korea 21 Project (through the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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