Seventh Symposium on the Urban Environment


Evaluation study of building-resolved urban dispersion models

Julia E. Flaherty, PNNL, Richland, WA; and K. J. Allwine, M. Brown, W. J. Coirier, S. C. Ericson, O. R. Hansen, A. Huber, S. Kim, M. J. Leach, J. D. Mirocha, R. K. Newsom, G. Patnaik, and I. Senocak

It is critically important for effective emergency response and recovery planning that building-resolved urban dispersion models be evaluated using field data. Several full-physics computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models and semi-empirical building-resolved (SEB) models are being advanced and applied to simulating flow and dispersion in urban areas. To obtain an estimate of the current state-of-readiness of these classes of models, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funded a study to compare five CFD models and one SEB model with tracer data from the extensive Midtown Manhattan field study (MID05) conducted during August 2005 as part of the DHS Urban Dispersion Program (UDP). Six days of tracer and meteorological experiments were conducted over an approximately 2-km-by-2-km area in Midtown Manhattan just south of Central Park. A subset of these data was used for model evaluations.

The study was conducted such that an evaluation team, independent of the six modeling teams, provided all the input data (e.g., building data, meteorological data and tracer release rates) and run conditions for each of four experimental periods simulated. Tracer concentration data for two of the four experimental periods were provided to the modeling teams for their own evaluation of their respective models to ensure proper setup and operation. Tracer data were not provided for the second two experimental periods to provide for an independent evaluation of the models. The tracer concentrations resulting from the model simulations were provided to the evaluation team in a standard format for consistency in inter-comparing model results.

An overview of the model evaluation approach will be given followed by a discussion on the qualitative comparison of the respective models with the field data. Future model developments efforts needed to address modeling gaps identified from this study will be discussed.


extended abstract  Extended Abstract (1.4M)

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Session 10, Urban Air Quality and Dispersion Studies
Thursday, 13 September 2007, 11:00 AM-5:00 PM, Boardroom

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