Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 243–268 | Cite as

Stereoscopic Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements in an Urban-Type Boundary Layer: Insight into Flow Regimes and Incidence Angle Effect



An experimental investigation of the three-dimensional flow through an urban-type array (four rows of three cuboid Plexiglas blocks) in a laboratory modelled neutrally stratified atmospheric boundary layer is presented. We concentrate on the effect of the streamwise spacing between adjacent rows defining two different flow regimes (wake interference and skimming flow) as well as the effect of the incident angle of the approaching boundary layer. Stereoscopic particle image velocimetry measurements provide all three components of the velocity field in closely spaced two-dimensional planes in a region located in the middle row downstream of the centre block. It is found that the maximal exchange rate between the fluid within the street and the flow above is for the wake interference regime. Two regions are apparent: one influenced by streamwise velocity fluctuations, the other by spanwise fluctuations. In addition, the incidence angle of the incoming flow has a much more dramatic effect for the wake interference regime that would greatly favour dispersion. Coherent-structure identification tools are applied to obtain information on the shape, extent and localisation of vortical structures.


Atmospheric boundary layer Coherent structures Laboratory flow Skimming flow regime Stereoscopic particle image velocimetry Urban-type flow Wake interference regime 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MMAE Department Engineering 1 BldgChicagoUSA

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