Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 122, Issue 2, pp 321–342 | Cite as

Numerical simulations of pollutant dispersion in an idealized urban area, for different meteorological conditions

  • Maya Milliez
  • Bertrand Carissimo


In order to estimate the impacts of buildings on air pollution dispersion, numerical simulations are performed over an idealized urban area, modelled as regular rows of large rectangular obstacles. The simulations are evaluated with the results of the Mock Urban Setting Test (MUST), which is a near full-scale experiment conducted in Utah’s West Desert area: it consists of releases of a neutral gas in a field of regularly spaced shipping containers. The numerical simulations are performed with the model Mercure_Saturne, which is a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics code adapted to atmospheric flow and dispersion simulations. It resolves complex geometries and uses, in this study, a k closure for the turbulence model. Sensitivity studies focus on how to prescribe the inflow conditions for turbulent kinetic energy. Furthermore, different sets of coefficients available in the literature for the k closure model are tested. Twenty MUST trials with different meteorological conditions are simulated and detailed analyses are performed for both the dynamical variables and average concentration. Our results show overall good agreement according to statistical comparison parameters, with a fraction of predictions for average concentration within a factor of two of observations of 67.1%. The set of simulations offers several inflow wind directions and allows us to emphasize the impact of elongated buildings, which create a deflection of the plume centerline relative to the upstream wind direction.


Atmospheric pollutant dispersion Computational fluid dynamics modelling Idealized urban area k closure Urban flow 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEREATeaching and Research Center in Atmospheric Environment (ENPC/EDF R&D)Champs-sur-MarneFrance

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