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Evaluation of Urban Local-Scale Aerodynamic Parameters: Implications for the Vertical Profile of Wind Speed and for Source Areas

Journal article
Authors Christoph W. Kent
Sue Grimmond
Janet Barlow
David Gatey
Simone Kotthaus
Fredrik Lindberg
Christos H. Halios
Published in Boundary-Layer Meteorology
Volume 164
Issue 2
Pages 183-213
ISSN 0006-8314
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 183-213
Language en
Keywords Aerodynamic roughness length, Anemometric methods, Logarithmic wind-speed profile, Morphometric methods, Source area, Zero-plane displacement
Subject categories Physical Geography, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


© 2017 The Author(s)Nine methods to determine local-scale aerodynamic roughness length (Formula presented.) and zero-plane displacement (Formula presented.) are compared at three sites (within 60 m of each other) in London, UK. Methods include three anemometric (single-level high frequency observations), six morphometric (surface geometry) and one reference-based approach (look-up tables). A footprint model is used with the morphometric methods in an iterative procedure. The results are insensitive to the initial (Formula presented.) and (Formula presented.) estimates. Across the three sites, (Formula presented.) varies between 5 and 45 m depending upon the method used. Morphometric methods that incorporate roughness-element height variability agree better with anemometric methods, indicating (Formula presented.) is consistently greater than the local mean building height. Depending upon method and wind direction, (Formula presented.) varies between 0.1 and 5 m with morphometric (Formula presented.) consistently being 2–3 m larger than the anemometric (Formula presented.). No morphometric method consistently resembles the anemometric methods. Wind-speed profiles observed with Doppler lidar provide additional data with which to assess the methods. Locally determined roughness parameters are used to extrapolate wind-speed profiles to a height roughly 200 m above the canopy. Wind-speed profiles extrapolated based on morphometric methods that account for roughness-element height variability are most similar to observations. The extent of the modelled source area for measurements varies by up to a factor of three, depending upon the morphometric method used to determine (Formula presented.) and (Formula presented.).

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